Homily for Friday, August 28, 2015

Readings for Today

Some of the most important advice I was giving about public speaking was trying to remember that when was speaking in public, I was to remember that the people to whom I was speaking were rooting for me to succeed. It may seem obvious once we are encouraged to remember this simple fact (after all, who wants a boring speech), but it is so easy to forget when we see all of these eyes staring back at us.

The power of remembering that power of being supported is easy to lose sight of when we are so busy with all kinds of activity. Many people, though, have the powerful experience of knowing what they could become when someone really believed in them. Children become good at taking appropriate risks when they know that their parents are loving and supporting them. Students have courage to learn difficult concepts when they know their teacher believes they can accomplish these new tasks.

In the life of faith, it can become easier if we remember what is the will of God for each of us. In one way, the reading reminds us the will of God for each of us in the same. “This is the will of God, your holiness.” For each one of us what God wants is simple: God wants us to be holy.

Of course, since each of us is the unique creation by God, then what it means for me to be holy is unique to the beauty that God has placed in my by creating me. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said that the definition of sin is simply wanting something for ourselves that God does not want for us. This can be easy to understand when we think of actions that are sinful.

But in the spiritual life, what is good for one person spiritually is not good for everyone in the same way. For example, I have a part of my hope that I could be a contemplative. I have a certain romantic idea that I would like to be one who spends their life contemplating God. Yet, when I find myself in such a situation, while it fulfills for a while, it does not satisfy for ever. I believe this is because God is calling me to be something other than one who is only a contemplative. For me, being a Dominican provides the perfect mix of active ministry and quiet contemplative prayer.

Yet, for those called to be a contemplative, the Dominican life is too busy, and in fact, might lead someone away from God. The person called by God to be married, and to raise a family, is less fulfilled if they seek to be a priest or religious. Seeking only what we want, without considering God, means simply that we are trying to find fulfillment by ourselves.

But, if we remember that the will of God is found in the quest to be holy, fulfillment is possible. We find that the benefit of our own efforts are amplified by the desires of God in a way we could not find on our own. Blessed be God in his gift to us of holiness, and thanks be to God when we find ourselves seeking for ourselves what God wants for us.