Audio Available!

Audio Available!
Be sure to check out in each blog post the links to the audio recordings of my homilies. They are at the beginning of each post! Also, look to the right for links to Audio from other good resources!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Future Not Our Own

Sorry it's late, but here is the audio!

I don't know if I've talked about it much, but I am pretty into Christian music.  There aren't many musicians in the Christian music scene who are Catholic, but there are a few that I love listening to: Danielle Rose (an Notre Dame graduate) whose music is more peaceful and the lyrics really foster meditation; Audrey Assad, who has some great stuff out there right now and various styles in her albums; and Matt Maher, the rock star of it all, who really broke through when Chris Tomlin asked if he could do a recording of his song "Your Grace is Enough" and thus got Matt Maher more popular.  On his most recent album, he starts with a song called "A Future Not My Own," where the singer cries out to God asking for that future that isn't of his own making, not his own plans, because as he says "we see the start, but you (God) see the end; we see in part, but Your (God's) Love sees everything." (Full lyrics here)
This seems to go along quite well with today's gospel, and what we all really do need.  There is always a temptation to want to be the shepherd instead of the sheep.  Adam & Eve, and every one of us, so often want to "be like gods" on our own terms and can't see that God actually wants to do the same for us, in an even more magnificent way.
One of the interesting things about this reality in our world today, is that with all the freedoms we have and all the options for life out there, we tend to end up less satisfied.  Since we feel like we can control every aspect of our lives, our futures, our persons, our personalities, etc., we then come to the conclusion that the only reason we aren't happy is because we haven't "designed" our life properly.  In reality, the problem is that we aren't seeing that life is a gift, and that God wants to lead us to that place of our true joy instead of us leading Him around somewhere.  C.S. Lewis described it as humanity is like a little child who would rather make mud-pies in a puddle even when dad invites him to a day at the beach to see the ocean (or for us, Lake Michigan!), simply because the child can't imagine what his father is talking about.  We take the short-term happiness instead of the long-term.
So if Christ the Lamb of God is our true shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, leading us to the Father to our true joy, we must follow Him.  We follow our maps or GPS devices even after we know that they've been wrong before: why not follow God who cannot be wrong?
Pope Francis' document Amoris Laetitia, on Love in the family, speaks of the importance of conscience.  We have a responsibility to form our consciences.  One way we do that is trying to hear God's voice every day.  He speaks in our consciences, in our prayer, through others, through the Church's teaching in the Catechism or elsewhere.  If we want to hear God's voice, we must choose to follow it in the daily things.  We must choose God daily in prayer (both at fixed times, and throughout the day).  We much choose God weekly in Sunday Mass.  We must choose God in our broken families, in our friends, and in the strangers who need help.
So may we truly be docile sheep and let the Lord lead us, through these small daily steps of life, to that eternal future not our own.  No, heaven is not something we designed.  And thank God it isn't, because it is much better than our narrow vision ever could have thought up.  Lead us on, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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