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, November 12, 2016

Homily - Protests and the Gospel of Peace - That they may be one!

Audio: click here!
It is a good thing we prayed last Sunday as a parish community for healing and peace in our country.  Today I urge you to continue that prayer, because clearly we still need it.  Last Wednesday morning college campuses and some city centers had protests – some of them starting fires and many of them riddled with more poisonous speech than our already-wearied ears and hearts wish to take in.  Certainly we can understand what has led some small pockets of people to this type of response, but is this in any way helpful?  St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans “Do not be conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  We as Christians are called to something greater, and in the readings today we are reminded exactly of the important lessons that would hinder us from any demonstration that is not peaceful and ultimately directed toward healing and unifying in the truth of Christ Jesus.
Let us look first at the Gospel.  Jesus says clearly that there will be all sorts of false alarms out there about the end of the world, and some will falsely claim to be the Messiah who has returned.  “See that you not be deceived!” Christ tells us.  We will be persecuted because we act in Christ’s name and we will give testimony – testimony to the fact that we stand with Christ Jesus for healing and for unity in the human family, whether here or in Iraq or Syria or Nigeria or Ukraine or Mexico or the Philippines or North Korea.  The social media has been full of little “crucifixions” of so many by parents, brothers, relatives and friends.  Could any of this be from the Holy Spirit?  I doubt it.
Let us look at the second reading: Saint Paul presents himself as a model for how to live.  We as Christians must do the same for each other, and for those beyond the family of God.  And what does Paul ultimately say: earn your own keep by working diligently.
We are not to get sucked into the chaotic fears that the devil wishes to sow in our hearts.  We are called to work, to work for the Kingdom of God in our communities, by living out the Works of Mercy (both corporal and spiritual) that the Church has placed before us anew during this year of Mercy.  If we put our attention on the Lord Jesus, the one who is truly in charge of everything, and stay faithful to our work among families, friends, workplace, church, and local community, then we have nothing to fear, for the peace of Christ will dwell among us.   As St. John of the Cross said, “Where there is no love, put love -- and you will find love.”
And it starts here, with united prayer before the loving God who is the source of all unity.  In this Eucharist, God heals our divisions, caused by sin and selfishness and evil.  May the body and blood of Jesus make us one again.

“By your perseverance you will save your lives,” Christ tells us.  Let us never grow weary in doing what is right, brothers.

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