SAYING GOODBYE

For the past 3 years, I have called Our Lady of Assumption Church in Windsor, Ontario home. This Sunday, I say farewell the community that has taught me what it means to live in a Eucharistic community.

This homily is far from the usual, for in it I share what I have learned over the past three years and offer my hopes for how we can live as Eucharist.

I should also add that the transition means I will not be posting any homilies for the next month as I move from one parish to another. However, this practice will resume the first Sunday of July.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Body and Blood of Christ: (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11-17)

Not all words are my own thoughts; credits include:

* Bronson, Po. What Should I do With My Life?, 2002.
* Mau, Bruce. The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.
* Dolan, Cardinal Timothy. A People of Hope. 2010.
* Block, David. Community.,2008
* Lineamenta for the Synod on the New Evangelization., 2010
* Brown, Brené. The Gifts of Imperfection., 2010
* Rohr, Richard. Breathing Under Water., 2011
* Miller, Donald. Blue Like Jazz., 2003
* Rohr, Richard. Falling Upward., 2011

The Trinity is not an abstract doctrine, but a living reality. In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of the Father and Holy Spirit as the most profound and living reality of his own life. With them he communes; their life he shares. We too can live in communion with the Trinity. The Spirit will lead us to the truth of Jesus, and Jesus will lead us to the Father. It is the Spirit who inspires us to carry on in the Church Jesus’ work of revealing the Father. In the reading from Proverbs, we find a first stage in the revelation of the Trinity: Wisdom is personified, seeming to work with God in creating the world. St. Paul writes to the Romans about the gift of faith which gives us hope of one day seeing God’s glory. But, already we are learning to rely on God’s life within us. We are being proved by suffering, giving us a share with Christ; and we experience God’s love in our hearts. God our creator, redeemer and sustainer is the centre of our lives as Christians.

May we grow in this state of grace.

Readings commentary from Sunday Mass Book for Canada, copyright © Concacan Inc. 1976. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Visit ccbpublications.ca

RECEIVING IS DIFFICULT

What do you most want to know?

How to let go? Of the stress? Of the crippling weight of worry?
How to be more aware? Of the goodness of others? Of the beauty in the world?
How to transform the ordinary movements of life into sacred experiences of God?
How to move beyond toleration . . . of others. . . of life. . . of work. . . to praise?

Yes. Emphatically yes! For to do all of those things is to know how to love God. . . which is, after all, what we say we are about.

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything that we need to know and remind us of everything that He taught us. Which means we need to practice awareness so that we can recognize the Holy Spirit.

And if we say that we are willing to receive the Holy Spirit, then that has consequences. It requires discipline. It is like saying I am going to quit smoking or lose weight. In fact, it is very much like that because it is just as hard.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Pentecost: (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 14:15-16, 23-26)

JOY IS NOT IN THE RESULTS; RATHER, THE PROCESS

In our Gospel, we hear that, after Jesus ascended, the Apostles went to Jerusalem with joy. Joy? It is not exactly the response I would imagine after their teacher and friend left there presence.

Is it because he had already died? It is because of his blessing to them? Or is it because of his promise of the Holy Spirit that they would receive?

Could they possibly have known just how important the ascension is for our humanity? Could they have understood that our lowly humanity through Christ’s humanity has been transformed and elevated beyond the limitations of space and time?

Perhaps, yes, because of all of these things. But perhaps it is because they finally understood their own purpose. Jesus is now gone after all; and it is now up to them to proclaim his message. They seem to know that now.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Ascension of our Lord: (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53)

OBEDIENCE THAT LEADS TO PEACE

This Sunday, our first reading describes the Council of Jerusalem: a meeting of the apostles and elders to discuss the necessity of the Mosaic Law for salvation. This law stated, among other things, that circumcision was a requirement for salvation; furthermore, it is a law that Jesus kept and never challenged.

However, Peter on the impulse of the Holy Spirit baptized the household of a Roman Centurian without requiring circumcision. Likewise, Paul extended the Faith to the Gentiles who where also uncircumcised.

It was the task of this council to clarify what was necessary for salvation. But this is not the central issue at hand for us this Sunday; rather, it is how we find peace in our lives when change is all around us?

The Gospel answers this question for us: all that we need to know will be provided by the Holy Spirit. If we follow these instructions, then the peace of Christ will be with us.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the the Sixth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29)

THEY WILL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS. . .

Today, we hear that we are receiving a new commandment: to love one another, just as Jesus loved us.

This is how all will know that you are Christian. Thus it is implied that it is by this degree that we will be judged.

For if we love the least of these, then we will love God. The least will help us to know God. It is the great irony of love – it is only perfected in you when you give it to someone else. In our love for one another, all things become new, as our 2nd reading reads – a new heaven and new earth is created and the old will pass away.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the the Fifth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 14:21-27; Psalm 145; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:31-35)

HOW TO CHANGE CULTURE

Our first reading today marks a cultural shift in early Christianity. For centuries, the Jews have been told they would be a light to the nations; that all people would come to Jerusalem for instruction and salvation.

However, it took a while for these words to be truly realized. In the early days, the Jews were (rightly so) skeptical of outsiders.

Among other reasons, this is why they had Jesus killed. Yet, they remain to this day the chosen people. God did not, nor has not revoked the covenant established with them.

As the story goes, the message of Salvation through Christ was received well by almost all of the Jews in Antioch; however, some refused it. That refusal set in motion a culture change in the early Church.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the the Fourth Sunday of Easter: (Acts 13:14, 43-52; Psalm 100; Revelation 7:9, 14-17; John 10:27-30)