We’re made in God’s Image: Homily for Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Readings for Today

Do you know you are made in God’s image? Most of us would answer yes.  But do we really believe it? How often do we excuse doing something wrong by saying, “I’m only human?” When we know we are in God’s image, we know we are at our best when we are human. It is when we sin that we are less than human.

The Incarnation then, is about the wonderful event where God took on human flesh.  Think about that for a moment. God is one of us.  Emmanuel.  God with us. And that is marvelous indeed.

Homily for Friday, October 17, 2014

Readings for Today

Remember the answer to the old Baltimore Catechism question, “Why did God make us?” You might remember the answer. God made us to know, love and serve him in this life and to live forever with him in the next.” While rote memorization is not completely effective as a means of learning, I must admit that there are certain answers I remember quite easily.

Today’s first reading discusses the purpose of our lives as well. “Brothers and sisters: In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.” Another way of answering the question about why we were chosen is to fulfill the purpose of God.

But what is this purpose? I think this has a simple answer too. The purpose of God is that we might be the wonderful persons God has created us to be. While there is sin, and we do commit sin, when we are the persons we were created to be, then God’s purpose is fulfilled. We can choose to cooperate with this purpose, or we can reject it. But since we have been chosen by Christ, we have that destiny to become our best selves.

St. Irenaeus stated the the glory of God is man, the human person, fully alive. When we are fully alive, by our existence we give glory to God. We know that sin diminishes our ability to reflect this glory. Sin clouds the beauty that God gave in creating us. Sin closes hearts and makes selfish.

It is important that the reason we even care about this is the call of Christ to invite us into salvation. Christ is the one we first hoped for, and it is Christ that leads us to new life. So pray to God you m be your best self and glorify God.

Homily for Monday, August 13, 2012

Readings for Today

Ever had an experience you simply could not put into words?  Or have you ever told a story only to end it by saying, “Guess you had to be there”?  It is clear there are some experiences that are almost impossible to convey to someone who has not had such an experience.  Imagine then the challenge of the first reading.  How can one describe the glory of God?  Is it possible?  Can it be done?

The mystics in the world find this a constant challenge.  They write, they attempt to put into words the experience they have, but even the best would admit it was not the equivalent of the experience.  In St. Thomas Aquinas’ often misused quote, that what he wrote was so much straw, it is often not pointed out that he was comparing what he wrote with his experience of the glory of God.  Compared to that experience, what he wrote was so much straw.

Today we can find the same challenge.  How do we describe our faith?  How do we explain to others why we believe in God?  How is it that we can share with people the experiences of God that we have had that compel us to deeper belief to live the gospel life?  To be sure, it is not easy.  And it is why we need each other.  While it may be hard to explain the experience to someone who has not had a similar one, we can find reassurance from those who share our beliefs.

We also must attempt to seek out these same experiences.  The response to the psalm tells us that heaven and earth are filled with God’s glory.  Filled with God’s glory.  Imagine.  Do you see in your life a world filled with God’s glory?   Do you find yourself immersed in a world where God’s glory is all around us?  I know that while sometimes it can be hard, at the same time I find when I am attentive to prayer, it is easier to see the hand of God in my life.

And it may not be as hard as you think.  Those of you who have children certainly can see the glory of God in them.  Those of you who have found the best spouse there is, certainly can see the glory of God in them.  With careful attention, we can believe the words we said in the response to the psalm.  Yes indeed, heaven and earth are filled with the glory of God.