02/03/2018 - "SO WHO HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO LATELY?"

“SO WHO HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO LATELY?”

So far, in our homily series, “Unleash the Gospel”, we’ve seen how the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament urges us to share the love that we celebrate in our Father’s House with all. Now, for the next few weeks, we’re going to see how encountering Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation equips us to become a band of joyful missionary disciples.

So, who have you been talking to lately? It’s important to recognize that the amount of time we spend watching TV and on the internet, and all of our worldly conversations have an impact on our outlook on life and our behavior. Show me how you’re living your life and I’ll find the answer to my question about who you’ve been talking to.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TALK TO GOD?

Last Sunday, in the first reading from Nehemiah, we saw what happens when we talk to the Lord. We saw the impact it has on our life. The more we talk to the Lord, listen to His Voice and His Word, the more aware we become of His presence. As we talk to the Lord, we feel our hearts and minds being turned toward Him. He, once again, becomes the focus of our life. When this happens, tears come to our eyes as we are bathed by His Holiness, Warmth and Goodness. When we spend time listening to the Lord, we experience a desire to renew our commitment to Him, to renew our covenant with Him. This desire is met by God’s grace and power and He renews us! Our life has not only a new focus, but we also discover our purpose, our mission in life.

AT THE HEART OF OUR COVENANT WITH THE LORD

At the heart of our covenant with the Lord is the Lord’s call on your life to continue His Salvific Mission. When we speak with Jesus and listen to Him, our life is changed. As God’s sons and daughters, baptized into the death and resurrection of His Son, we are called to continue the salvific work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are called to bring glad tidings to the poor. We should all be known by our heartfelt compassion for the poor and needy. When we see someone who is hurting, we ought to be the first to speak a kind word and offer our assistance. We are called to proclaim liberty to the captives. When we see someone enslaved to addiction, we speak a word of power and authority. Jesus is Lord! He died so that we might be free. There are no chains of addiction that He cannot break. When we encounter those who are lost or confused, we take people by the hand and lead them to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

NO BYSTANDERS

St. Paul’s teaching on the Body of Christ becomes foundational in our transformation into a band of joyful missionary disciples. We, though many members, are one in Christ Jesus! We are members of His Body. No one can excuse themselves from mission by saying “I don’t belong” and no one can withdraw saying “I don’t need you.” As Christ’s Body, we are to be known by our loving concern for one another.

SO, WHO HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO LATELY?

When our life is immersed in the world and we spend way too much time watching TV or surfing the internet, our minds are filled with the spirit of this world. One of the greatest lies of the spirit of this world is the idea that: it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do; what I say or don’t say. This is so clearly a lie. It can be seen that it doesn’t pass the test. You cannot stand before the Cross of our Savior and say that. Before the Cross of our Savior, you become aware of how much He has loved you; you become aware of a debt of love!

When you spend your life talking to yourself, you live your life according to a list of rules that you have accumulated. You go through your checklist: I haven’t killed anyone; I haven’t robbed any banks; I haven’t stolen anything; therefore I’m a good person. The problem with this is that your list is not the criterion. Jesus, and Jesus crucified is the criterion. He is the bar. You are called to love others as He has loved you.

JESUS AWAITS YOU IN THE SACRAMENT OF HIS MERCY

For all the ways we fall short in loving others as Jesus has loved us, in being kind, patient, and generous as Jesus is with us, He, the Lord, awaits us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we sin, and neglect to love others, that has a negative spiritual impact on our families. When we encounter Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and are forgiven, that has a positive spiritual impact on our families. When we talk to Jesus in the confessional, we become more aware of His presence. We feel our hearts turning back to Him and we regain our focus. We experience a desire to renew our commitment to Him. As Jesus forgives us and washes away our sins, we are renewed in His love. This renewal in His love leads us to share that love and mercy with others and we become a blessing to our families!

Fr. Michael