Perfect love casts out all fear. Do not be afraid. Do not be terrified.
Listen, folks: This is about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s still and always will be the only One. Only He is the Divine Son of God, the Way, the Truth, the Life. Only He is the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. He always will be. Pachamamas be damned.
The one thing I forgot to mention in this homily was that the “pity” or “compassion” the Father had upon seeing his prodigal son is something rather altogether more precisely the kind of mercy that belongs to Jesus alone. And, indeed, the word used is employed exclusively for the mercy Jesus shows to us sinners. It’s not that Jesus merely had compassion or pity, but rather that His very heart was sacrificed. Yes. And it was, for us, literally, in the agony of the garden and upon the cross and upon our altars.
Word-carved Pieta from Austria 1420 AD, not the one I speak about in the homily, but similar to it in a remote kind of way.
[[ I’m reposting this as not many sermons in the world were on Our Lady of Sorrows as the feast fell on a Sunday this year. ]]
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I’ve been recording my homilies these past days, but it never worked, until I realized that I have to but the little flash card in the recorder for it to work. Sigh. But I did it today.
About today. Here’s something humiliating but great for improvement. I realize in listening to this – it is so very painful – that if I’m thinking out a homily on the spot, you can hear me thinking kind of like hearing the grass grow. Sssssllllloooooooowwwww.
Well, now I know. Glad I know. Anyway, I tell two stories, one about my mom and one about Lourdes. Kind of. I need to be more prepared.
I also learned I’ll have to keep the recorder closer to me while I speak. It’s a little fading here and there. So I learn. Anyway, hope you like it.
UPDATE: This is the Pieta I mention in the homily. Originally, the bank of candles surrounded the image in front and to both sides on wooden shelves, in front of which, all the way around, there were kneelers so that many people could be there at the same time.
Peter: Let’s go fishing because we don’t have the gumption to speak about Jesus because we ran away from Calvary and we have no credibility. Maybe we can regain credibility by having better policies about fishing vacations for priests.
Other ten apostles: Hey! Great idea! Let’s have conversations on how to save ourselves and our credibility while not changing a thing about our lives.
Jesus: To hell with you sinners if you keep that up! You will never be credible. Why would you want to be credible? The point of religion is NOT to give yourselves credibility. Belief is to be directed at God, not yourselves. Do you pretend to be God in seeking credibility? Preach about God and stop congratulating yourselves about what supposed heroes you are. You are not. Admit it, and in that way, being forgiven for your sin, be a good example, pointing people to me, your Savior, the Son of the Living God. It is I who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire.
In this homily the modus operandi of the abuse crisis is attacked.
I never know what I’m going to preach about. I learn at my homilies. I blame my guardian angel for anything good in my homilies. I will surely never look at this Gospel the same way again. I am convicted of my own lack. Jesus, mercy!
Too long of a homily, so, just some bullet points:
God’s Word, His Son, becomes Incarnate so as to forgive our sin in all mercy but by way of justice, He taking on the punishment for our sin, death, the innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
We ask in our idiocy: “Where is God? Why is He silent?” But we don’t mean it. We don’t want to hear God speak to us. That’s why we killed him.
Jesus’ corpse answers with silence that screams out His love for us so loudly that our reaction so as not to hear Him is to distract ourselves with such noise that can’t hear His silence speaking to us from the tomb. We seal ourselves off from everything and everyone, especially Jesus in His eloquent silence, through alcohol and drugs and distractions which really cost us lots of money. When I mentioned in my homily about the distractions which really cost us lots of money, there were very many who laughed.
When we finally hear the silence of God, of Jesus, in the tomb, speaking His love for us, He having heard us, He coming to the rescue with a mercy founded on justice, doing it the right way, with God knowing what suffering and death means, when we are stunned finally by the goodness and kindness of Jesus right to the end, perhaps then we can say in all the unearthly silence with His blood all over us – along with the soldier who had just shoved his spear into the side, into the Heart of Jesus: “Truly this was the Son of God.” That is: Truly this is the Son of God who hears us and speaks to us so eloquently from the tomb.
The Parable of the Vineyard and the murderous High Priests and Elders of the people. The more times change, the more they’re the same.
I reference something absolutely disgusting that will shrink the flock of Our Lord’s Catholic Church down to about nothing right around the world, but I don’t say what it is. It’s a policy change on the vetting of seminarians. Sooo disgusting… More on that elsewhere.
In direct proportion to how much I realize I’m bad and evil, that’s also how much I love preaching. Well, to put that differently, preaching draws me into the Tremendous Sacred Mystery of Christ’s love for us. The transfiguration is about all of salvation history. Yikes. I need redemption, salvation. I love preaching. I absolutely love preaching.
All that prayer and fasting and almsgiving: so annoying; so aggravating! ;-)
One of our elderly men in the parish was laughing throughout this homily, thinking that what it meant was – as he told someone after Mass – that there was no way that they’re ever going to move me from the parish!
I guess this homily is one of those realistic homilies. It made for a lot of laughter that was admitting that what I was saying is the truth of it.