Homilies - January 2015

Select a homily to read:
The Epiphany of the Lord: January 4, 2015 by Abbot James
The Baptism of the Lord: January 11, 2015 by Christopher Wyvill
Talk: Respect for Others: January 15, 2015 by Abbot James
Second Sunday of the Year: January 18, 2015 by Fr. Christopher Wyvill (at St. Matthew's Cathedral)
Second Sunday of the Year: January 18, 2015 by Fr. Joseph Jensen
Third Sunday of the Year: January 25, 2015 by Fr. Peter Weigand

The Epiphany of the Lord

Our Gospel reading has one phrase that can easily be overlooked but that is rather puzzling if you think about it. On arriving in Jerusalem, the magi are said to inquire about the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews” because, they say, “we saw his star at its rising.” That term “his star” obviously implies that there was one particular star specifically associated with this one child. I don’t know enough about ancient astronomy or astrology to know whether or not many persons were then thought to have their own star. Today most people would surely not accept such a notion, although I recently heard on the radio a commercial advertising that one could, for a rather hefty fee, give someone the gift of having a particular star named after him or her. That sounds to me like some group’s rather devious money-making scheme. I would much rather receive a gift that could actually be touched and put to use.

What I most want to emphasize about our Gospel reading, however, is the very notion of traveling to some other country. The reasons why people do this are varied, but there is always some purpose or motivation. The evangelist Matthew does not tell us anything about the emotions of the magi, but they clearly weren’t seeking some quid pro quo, for the text says that they returned to their own country shortly after offering their gifts. If we dare psychologize, I suppose we could say that their satisfaction came simply from knowing that they had paid appropriate homage to this “newborn king.” Other people travel to distant lands mainly to visit friends or relatives who live elsewhere or simply out of curiosity to learn more firsthand about our remarkable world: the different ways in which people live their lives, the foods they eat, the scenery of the countryside, and so forth. In short, the trips we take are usually for the purpose of something pleasant, whether it be visiting friends or relatives or having a relaxing vacation.

But there are other kinds of trips abroad that are of a very different character, travel undertaken not of one’s own accord, as was the case with the magi, but rather out of a kind of desperation. Indeed, the verses in Matthew’s Gospel that immediately follow the ones we heard today tell of a very different kind of journey, the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to escape the murderous designs of King Herod. This, of course, is an integral part of the whole story, and it’s the part I want to reflect on. To use the proper language, what Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were on that occasion is captured by one word, “refugees,” perhaps the best-known refugees in the history of the world.

Pondering their plight—having to leave their native land, their friends and relatives, their means of livelihood, their possessions—can help us better understand and want to do something about the fact that there are millions of persons in that situation today, many of them in that very same part of the world. Just from Syria alone there are, almost incredibly, more than three and a half million persons who have fled that country since the outbreak of civil war several years ago. That is about one third of the entire Syrian population, with many of them living in camps in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, or Lebanon, often in tents that offer little protection from the winter cold that is now beginning to set in. The vast majority of these are women, children, and the elderly, in other words, persons who are especially vulnerable and least able to look out for themselves. A few months ago, a delegation from the United States Catholic Bishops Conference visited that part of the world and met people whose stories are heartbreaking: children who have seen members of their family killed in the civil war and then have had to bury them themselves, young boys barely in their teens who are now responsible for their younger siblings since they are all orphans, little boys and girls who are terrified at the very sound of an airplane because it reminds them of the plane that once bombed their home or neighborhood.

What to do? For one thing, despite the enormous amount of money needed to help these refugees through one or another of the various agencies that are working on site, groups like Catholic Relief Services, Caritas Internationalis, and Doctors without Borders, it would be wrong to say “I’ll give nothing” simply because my widow’s mite would be only a tiny fraction of what is needed. No, the model for all of us should be the attitude of St. Paul in the New Testament, for his letters how us how very intent he was on raising funds from various Christian communities to help the poor in Jerusalem. In other words, we should do something even if we can’t do everything. If there is any meaning at all to the phrase “innocent suffering,” it is certainly captured in the faces of those Syrian children that can be seen in newspapers, magazines, or on the Internet. How badly they need our help.

Secondly, we should pray fervently and specifically for these refugees. The Gospels tell us of occasions when Jesus asks one or another person the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” This shows us that the Lord is not averse to particular requests, so let us at times be quite specific in what we pray for. Often this is best done in our own words, but we can also use prayers composed by others. Here is a beautiful prayer for the Syrian refugees that comes from our Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Thirdly, since it is not likely that any of us have the wherewithal or the proper training to actually go serve in one of those refugee camps, let us at least recognize that there are other people living near us who may not be, in the strict sense of the word, “refugees” but whom we could help escape from one or another kind of danger. The needed escape may not be a matter of physical location but rather of inner transformation. Ideally, that sort of transformation will take place when people come together at places like this to celebrate the Eucharist, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that this is the only or even the best place. The other morning I read some thought-provoking lines from a book of meditations. The author wrote: “If [many people] have abandoned the churches of the world, it’s because of a certain aversion to hypocrisy. They know they cannot be perfect, so they just opt out of the whole thing. More transformation is taking place in the Wednesday night church basements, with things like twelve-step meetings, than in Sunday morning sanctuaries where people are urged to compete in worthiness contests they cannot win.”i That claim may be unduly harsh, but at least let us recognize that we are here not in any sense to show off, not in any sense to compete with one another, but rather to be open to the transforming grace of Christ. That, and that alone, is what will bring us to the goal of our life’s journey, even more surely than the star that led the magi.

Abbot James Wiseman
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1 Richard Rohr, On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2010), p. 374.

The Baptism of the Lord

“We praise you, Lord, for Brother Wind and Air, fair and stormy, all weather modes by which you cherish all that you have made. “We praise you, Lord, for Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.”

You may recognize these words from St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures. He give wind and air their counter qualities of fair and stormy, but attributes only the gentle qualities to Sister Water. What about the flood at the time of Noah, or the New England Perfect Storm, or the 2004 tsunami from the undersea Asian earthquake that killed nearly a quarter of a million people? Yes, Sister Water is destructive but also refreshing and life sustaining in its useful and gentler qualities.

As we celebrate today the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John, we see an extraordinary new quality added to Sister Water. As the fathers of the church say, Christ is baptized, not to be made holy by the water, but to make the water holy. Jesus, the sinless one, lines up with the sinners waiting their turns. John’s baptism was a ritual bath that symbolizes the longing for forgiveness by the repentant sinner. To those who come to John for baptism, he wants signs of repentance, a change of heart, of mind to get rid of old ways. Like the prophet Micah, he tells soldiers and tax collectors “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before your God.”

John insisted that he baptized only with water. There was one coming after him who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. When Jesus came up out of the water with the dove hovering over him and a voice from Heaven, John knew he was the one he was told to look for. The voice confirmed that Jesus is God’s Son, the one the Father sent, the one who existed before John. The prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: “Here is my chosen on with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit.”

A homilist wrote in a current periodical that if we really knew what is happening when we are baptized or baptize a person, the stupendous spiritual event that is happening would make us want to wear a crash helmet and a flak vest. We hear in Mark’s gospel, “he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending upon him.” To be struck by such spiritual lightning is awesome. God’s Holy Spirit is poured into the baptized, completely washing away all effects of their sins that would separate them from God. Peter had not finished his evangelizing of the centurion Cornelius and his household, when suddenly the listeners were sort of slain in Holy Spirit. They began to speak in tongues with uncontrollable praise of God. So he gave orders they were to be baptized by water in the name of Jesus Christ. When we were baptized, it is not likely there were extraordinary manifestations of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on us. As we grow up and mature in our faith, the fact that we have been claimed for Christ and marked with the sign of his cross prepares and enables us to follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit that we have been given to dwell in us.

The importance of the sign of his cross. That reminds us that there are three that give Jesus testimony: the water, the Spirit and the blood. Jesus spoke of another baptism he would have to undergo. “I have a baptism to receive. What an anguish I feel till it is over. Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth?” When the sons of Zebedee asked Jesus for first-place favors in the kingdom, Jesus asked them, “Can you drink the cup I shall drink or (in Luke’s version) be baptized in the same bath of pain as I?” They did not know what they were asking.

But we know now that to be true to our baptismal promises, we must take up our crosses daily in imitation of Jesus. Surely we want to be able to hear our Father God say, “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit.” To help us arrive at such a blessing, Jesus has remained with us in his sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. As we return to the altar of sacrifice, let us gratefully unite our small offerings with his, the most acceptable sacrifice pleasing to our God. The goal is to grow into the full stature of Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit is to be adored, worshipped, glorified and obeyed now and forever. AMEN

Fr. Christopher Wyvill
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Talk: Respect for Others

  • January 15, 2015
  • Year B
  • by Abbot James

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The following is a talk given by Abbot James to the monastic community.

This talk will be only obliquely related to anything specifically monastic, but it might shed some light on matters that are very much in the news these days. I will at least begin with something monastic, the first part of St. Benedict’s chapter on receiving guests. Right after saying that they should be received as we would receive Christ himself, he goes on to write: “Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith and to pilgrims.” Even though Benedict asks for special consideration for fellow Christians, it’s clear that he wants honor or respect shown to all persons, and this, of course, is a theme that has been prominent in the teaching of all recent popes. As just one recent example, in his Apostolic Letter for the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis said the following: “We cannot forget that the phenomenon of monasticism and of other expressions of religious fraternity is present in all the great religions…. I trust that the Year of Consecrated Life will be an opportunity to review the progress made, to make consecrated persons aware of this dialogue, and to consider what further steps can be taken toward greater mutual understanding and greater cooperation in the many commons areas of service to human life” (III.4).

Let’s compare this now with what has been going on in Paris of late, and what conclusions we might draw from those events for our own lives. On the one hand, we would surely condemn unequivocally the murders of the staff persons at that satirical magazine. The only proper response to the kind of irreverent satire regularly found in that magazine would be not to buy it and also to do what one reasonably can to foster respect toward the adherents of any other religion. And make no mistake, the target of that publication’s dark humor was never merely Islam. From news reports that have come out in the last day or two, I learned that its editors have, among other things, published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad in pornographic poses, nuns masturbating, a black cabinet minister as a monkey, and the three persons of the [Holy] Trinity locked in a homosexual orgy. The magazine is, in other words, an almost perfect example of the kind of secularism that has made France one of the most irreligious countries on earth, what a friend of mine has called “a secular desert.” That magazine’s lead editorial yesterday said that the staffers only laughed when the bells of the cathedral of Notre Dame were rung in honor of their murdered comrades. The editorial went on in these words: “The millions of anonymous people, all the institutions, all the world leaders, all the politicians, all the intellectual and media figures, all the religious dignitaries who proclaimed this week that ‘I am Charlie’ also need to know that [this phrase] means, ‘I am secularism.’”

I agree with all those who say that those staffers have the right to publish their cartoons and that silencing them would be contrary to the right of free speech that all of us enjoy—after all, that magazine has never advocated violence—but we should be clear that its overall tone of blatant secularism does absolutely nothing to build up a society of peace and mutual respect. Far more in accord with our own values, as Benedictines and as Catholics, is something the Muslim foreign minister of Iran said in response to the murders, namely, that the world would be a better place if everyone respected the beliefs and opinions of others. In his words: “We believe that [holy things] need to be respected … and unless we learn to respect one another, it will be very difficult in a world of different views and different cultures and civilizations. We won’t be able to engage in a serious dialogue if we start disrespecting each other’s values … [W]e would have a much safer … world if we were to engage in serious dialogue, serious debate about our differences. And then we will find out that what binds us together is far greater than what divides us.”1

None of this is to say that there should be no satirical magazines or newspapers, but there is a difference between good-natured joking and ridicule. As the Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano recently wrote, “Bullets are never the answer, but neither is ridicule. It is one thing to produce satire of a political or religious leader. It is quite another thing to defame or defile the sacred.”2 To help our own community come to a better understanding of what currently is surely the most controversial religion on earth, Islam, I plan to have a couple guest speakers on some Thursday evenings this semester. On the second Tuesday of February a friend from my CUA days, a Muslim ayatollah who has a doctoral degree from the University of Qom in Iran, will speak to us about a trip he will soon be making to his native land and to Iraq in order to promote understanding among people of different faiths in those two countries. Then, later in the spring I hope to have Professor Pim Valkenberg speak about a remarkable Turkish Muslim, Fethullah Gülen, about whom Pim has recently published a book.

It’s certainly true that one often doesn’t see immediate, tangible results from getting to know (or know about) persons from other religious traditions, but there is no doubt that sincere attempts to promote such understanding can have very positive repercussions. As you probably know, Pope Francis has just visited Sri Lanka, a country that is largely Buddhist, but with a significant number of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. His own openness to persons of other faiths, going far back to his years in Argentina, has clearly done a lot of good in Sri Lanka. One Buddhist leader in that country had this to say when asked about the pope’s visit: “I attended high school at St. Ursula's Convent in Badulla and I was raised to respect all religions, cultures and ethnic groups. Even my parents, who are Buddhist like me, taught me the same. If we wish to live in peace and harmony in our country, then we have to work together - we members of different religions and ethnic groups. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor like ourselves…. We Sri Lankans have to think as a single nationality, regardless of ethnicity, faith or caste. “ And a Muslim leader in that country said: “We love this pope too, because he was able to be critical and to take the necessary steps to solve some scandals [in his own church]. In doing so, he showed that even the Church can undergo social transformation. This is a good lesson for all of us – our [own] political and religious leaders should follow his example.”3

The tides of secularism and ridicule are strong in our country, though probably not as strong as in France, but none of this should surprise us who are so familiar with Jesus’ frequent warnings about what kind of reception his followers would often face. But he also promised to be with us till the end of the world, which gives us the confidence really to mean the words we will soon be singing at the end of the first of the Compline psalms: “I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Abbot James Wiseman
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1 Mohammad Javad Zarif, quoted by Carol Morello, “Protests Alarm Iranian Official,” The Washington Post, January 15, 2015.
2 Phyllis Zagano, “Charlie Hebdo – The Misanthropes,” online at http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=26477 (accessed Jan. 15, 2015).
3 “Buddhists and Muslims learn from Francis to be a united people,” Asia News, January15, 2015, online at http://www.cathnewsusa.com/2015/01/buddhists-muslims-learn-francis-united-people/?newsletter=1 (accessed Jan. 15, 2015).

 

Second Sunday of the Year (at St. Matthew's Cathedral)

  • January 18, 2015
  • Year B
  • by Fr. Christopher

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During World War II there was a poster displayed in post offices and public buildings that I remember very vividly as a young boy. It depicted Uncle Sam, a goateed man with top hat and star on its broad blue band. His look is stern, his right arm and finger point at the viewer. Under it are the words, I WANT YOU for the U. S.ARMY. ENLIST NOW. Walking by it, I found his pointed finger and eyes following me. I was fascinated by that but too young to enlist.

In calling disciples Jesus could be in a way like Uncle Sam. He would come upon men fishing or at the customs house and simply say with a commanding voice, Follow Me! At other times as in today’s gospel Jesus is more invitational. When John the Baptist pointed him out to two disciples, they went and asked Jesus where he lived. He answered with the welcoming, Come and you will see. So they went and stayed the day with him.

Today’s scripture readings relate the special vocation of Samuel and of Simon Peter and Andrew. Not everyone is so dramatically called by name or given a new name the way they were. Yet these are reminders that God calls all of us to the primary vocation to be disciples of Jesus, striving to grow into his full stature. Our first vocation is holiness, which means being set aside for dedication, sacrifice, worship, and union with God.

Jesus is the incarnate Holy One of God. In the Old Testament we hear God saying to his chosen people, Be holy as I am holy. We are inclined to put that aside thinking it an impossible goal, knowing our inclination toward sin and disobedience. Are we though underestimating the power of grace and the love of Jesus to give us new life in God? We can grow in holiness by putting on the mind of Jesus in his self-emptying, in his coming to serve, rather than be served. However there is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle, as the Catechism says. .

That universal call to holiness applies equally to whatever state of life we are in, whether single, married, priesthood, or consecrated life. The chaste single life is just as authentic a vocation as any of the others. We know God said it is not good for man to be alone, so the majority of people seek to find a life-partner for companionship and intimate expressions of love, and openness to new life. The married state is a noble vocation with its challenge to the couple to grow out of selfishness by their vowed commitment to care for one another, in sickness and health, in richness or poorness, and in good times and bad times.

After the terrible casualties of World War I, there were few eligible men for women to marry in England. A woman once lamented to her parents and a friend, “I want a man and a family and not be a spinster with only the scriptures for my comfort.” There is also the story of a rabbi who was chided by his brethren for not marrying. When they urged him to look for a bride, he responded, “Let others propagate the race. My love is the Torah.”

Whatever our state in life, we should be inspired and sustained by love of the Sacred Scriptures. That is especially so for those called to priesthood and consecrated life. The Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two edged sword. By meditating and ruminating on it, we can know Jesus personally and through him know God our Father and Creator. That is the work of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts so that we cry, Abba, Father, to our loving God.

There are four words in today’s readings I urge you to carry away to let them, as it were, ferment in your mind and heart: Jesus asks each of us, ‘What are you looking for?” You ask him: “Where do you live, Lord?” so that I can stay with you. Then like Samuel you are ready to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening;” and add with the psalmist, “Here am I, Lord. I come to do your will.” Let those words be like yeast raising you to a new and fuller life in God.

As we turn our attention to the altar, we as church, as members of the body of Christ, offer to God the perfect sacrifice, his gift of his beloved Son, our Savior and Lord of our life. To our gracious and loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be honor, praise, worship and holy obedience, now and forever. AMEN

Fr. Christopher Wyvill
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Second Sunday of the Year

Today's Mass formularies could easily be thought to be on the theme of vocation. The first reading, the call of Samuel, certainly fits that pattern. Samuel had been born in response to a vow that his mother had made to God: "If you give me a male child, I will give him to the Lord for as long as he lives." We may wonder about the propriety of Hannah so arranging the child's life without any input from him, but that is the way it was done in those days—and still is today in some places. At any rate, her prayer was answered and she fulfilled her vow. So we find the young Samuel dedicated to the altar, under the tutelage of Eli, the priest. Today's story is told, not without some humor. Samuel is sleeping in the temple. He has had no contact with the Lord, so when he heard his name called, "Samuel! Samuel!" he thought it was Eli, and ran to him, "Here I am, you called me." Eli sends him back to sleep, telling him he hadn't called him. We have to admire Eli's patience. After this happened a third time, we might have expected him to be a little annoyed. Instead, he recognized that the Lord was calling and advised, "If he calls again, say 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'." We might consider ourselves fortunate if the Lord were to speak so clearly to us. (If He should, we could give no better response than Samuel’s.) This call established Samuel as a prophet, one of the great men of Israel's history.

Most often when we speak of "vocation," we are thinking of religious or priestly vocation. If you're involved in that kind of vocation, you've probably been asked how you came to enter. Then you are reduced to saying something like "an interior conviction that God is calling me to this." Details can be added. My parents at one time must have thought I was somewhat sickly, so they sent me off from Chicago, where I was always on the run, involved in selling magazines, delivering newspapers, working for the corner butcher shop, to Mattoon a small town 200 miles south of Chicago, to live with my dear Aunt Nelle. She was a women filled with intense faith, which rubbed off on me. I learned to pray and I memorized the Catechism. When I got into service during WW 2, God led me into ever deeper devotion--with no awareness on my part--daily Mass and Communion when I was able, daily Rosary, reading lives of the saints, visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Eventually I was convinced that God was calling me. Probably every case is unique.

But God may call to many other vocations. Many are called to the medical or nursing professions, with a true, unselfish desire to bring healing, delivery from suffering to others. Even a lawyer may not be seeking wealth, but truly to win justice for others. Most are called to marriage, a true vocation, which requires real effort and unselfishness. But all of us are called to the vocation to be Christian. Today's gospel from St. John helps us to understand that.

It is narrated in a most charming way. John the Baptist sees Jesus passing by and says to two of his own disciples, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!" They begin to follow Jesus. He turns, sees them, and makes it easy for them by asking, "What are you looking for?" They weren't ready to commit themselves, so they simply ask, "Rabbi, where are you staying?" Jesus response is a gracious, "Come, and you will see." The Abbey used to have a vocation booklet entitled, "Come and you will see." Who are these two? One of them is immediately identified as James, Peter's brother. The other one is traditionally understood to be John, the apostle. But there is a mystery here: John, the apostle, is nowhere named in the fourth gospel, though he is prominent in the Synoptics. This gospel deliberately leaves him unnamed so that later he can be identified as "the disciple that Jesus loved." As such, he can be any disciple, the ideal disciple. He is first to believe in the resurrection. Peter and the beloved disciple ran together to the empty tomb, Peter enters first, sees the cloth that Jesus was wrapped (period)—no more is said of him there. But the Beloved Disciple "went in. He saw and believed"--"saw," not the risen Christ, but only the empty tomb. Later Thomas declares he will not believe until he has satisfied himself by touching Jesus’ body. Later, he damned with faint praise, we might say, when Jesus says, "Because you have seen, you have believed, Thomas; blessed are those who have not seen and have believed"--that is, all of us, who like the Beloved Disciple, have not seen but have believed. So also, as Jesus hung on the cross, He addressed Mary, referring to the Beloved Disciple! "Woman, behold your son." We understand that, in giving her to the ideal disciple, He was giving her to us as Mother. At the Last Supper the Beloved Disciple was closely bound to Jesus, just as we are closely bound to Him in the Eucharist, the reenactment of the Last Supper.

We are called, then, to live up to being ideal disciples by having living faith, by living up to the holiness that characterized Jesus. Today's second reading instructs us in one area, at least, i.e., sexual morality, but this instruction is closely related to our union with Christ and His Body. The immorality Paul refers to is probably that of religious prostitution, an accepted part of pagan culture. Paul considers this incompatible with the Christian's union with the Body of Christ. He goes so far as to say "Christ is for the body." I thought a long time and studied commentaries, trying to understand that phrase. The best I found was J.L. McKenzie: "Paul ... Takes a surprising step when he dares to reverse the phrase 'The body is for Christ' to 'Christ is for the body.' ... We need only to take seriously the bodily Eucharistic gift of himself to us by the Lord to see this mutual relationship bodily confirmed."

This reminds us that our God is anthropomorphic. A far cry from the OT, which forbade any physical representation of God, God has now come to us in bodily form. We adore Christ in the body, we adore Christ in the Eucharist, we adore His Sacred Heart. The ultimate expression of our morality is also anthropomorphic in that we must see God in our neighbor. "If anyone says, 'My love is fixed on God,' yet hates his brother, that on is a liar. Anyone who has no love for the brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: whoever loves God must love his brother" (1 John 4:20-21).

It is said that when John was an old man, and was carried in to address his disciples, and he would address them day after day, "Little children, love one another." When they asked him why he said only this one thing day after day, he replied, "It was His commandment, and if you do it, that is all that is needed."

Fr. Joseph Jensen
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Third Sunday of the Year

  • January 25, 2015
  • Year B
  • by Fr. Peter

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A transcript is not available for this homily. Please listen here.

Fr. Peter Weigand
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