7/5 Sunday Mass video & homily -- now available
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HOMILY FOR 7/5/2020: 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
I prepare my homily these days early in the week because of our Thursday morning taping deadline. I always worry, then, that in the days between my writing of a homily and the giving of it, the world could easily get turned upside down. Observing the news of our day and the very alarming surge of the Covid-19 virus across our land, I'm sad to say that there does not appear to be much good news on the horizon.
Most of us do come here to the Eucharist both physically and virtually today to feel that we are among those who labor and, yes, feel burdened. This Fourth of July weekend is not a particularly happy one, as be it on the beaches of Florida, the bars of Arizona, or our own homes, we do want to take Jesus's words to heart today: that we will find rest for ourselves. I know I do. Even as I write this, I'm looking at two graduation announcements on my desk. One's from a Newark Catholic grad and the other a young man just finishing 14 years of homeschooling, and there are great big smiles on their faces. I pray that they keep those smiling faces as they move on to a very uncertain world. We need them, and they need us more than ever.
Let us remember that our faith is not about praying away our problems or fears and wishing it were otherwise. Our faith means we have experienced the love of God in Christ Jesus, and so we never carry our burdens alone. Yes, God is our companion and guide, and our Christian communities are called to be the sort of place where we do carry each other's burdens and rest with each other for a while.
These days, it has been harder to experience God's presence, to feel God's love, to taste God's goodness, to touch God's caring hands. As Fr. Henri Nouwen once wrote, "I long for the days when God will order the surging wave to calm down. I wait to hear God's voice, saying as he does today, 'Why are you afraid? ... Come to me, and I will give you rest.'"
Today, then, let us pray for each other and those graduates I mentioned, that we might all know a moment's rest, the companionship of our fellow travelers, and the gift of Christ's peace. Let us say to those two kids--not kids much anymore--but to Slater and Jonathan and all our other graduates, as Fr. Joseph always says to me when he calls from Uganda, "Keep smiling." And then let us go and change our world.
Fr. Nouwen quotation from "Monday, Week 1," page 6 of
Journey of the Heart: Lenten Reflection & Prayer with Henri J.M. Nouwen
. Ed. Steve Mueller. All Saints Catholic Press, 2013.
Full-text preview available here.
on Saturday, July 4 at 2:45PM