03/11/2018 - ISN'T THIS GOOD NEWS

ISN’T THIS GOOD NEWS!

Isn’t it wonderful to grow! Our homily series, “The love of Christ urges us on!”, has offered all of us an opportunity to deepen our understanding of not just who God is, but who we are as His beloved children! From my own experience, once I began to strive to live each day and each moment as a beloved son of a Good and Loving Father, I experienced a deepening of my love and trust in Him. I want to say that same thing in different words to help you. As you face each day and each moment of your life, strive to return to a solid foundation and starting point: you are a beloved son/daughter of an amazing Father!

Isn’t that exactly what we saw together as we wrapped up “NOURISHED BY THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS”? Our Father, through the Seven Sacraments, not only clearly reveals His most amazing plan for your life but He also realizes His plan for you!

IF HE’S YOUR FATHER AND MY FATHER, WELL THEN . . .

In BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION, through the gift of His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, our Father has adopted you as His beloved child! He has claimed and sealed you as His beloved son, His beloved daughter! Through baptism and confirmation, you have received an amazing power. At any moment of any day you can lift your eyes to Him and know and experience His faithful and powerful love for you. With the special anointing of the Holy Spirit, the love of God cries out from the depth of your being: Abba! Father! So, if you call Him, Father, and the person next to you in the pews calls Him, Father, and I call Him, Father, well then, you and I, we are truly brothers and sisters in the Lord!

It’s in light of this truth, that we are truly brothers and sisters in the Lord, that our custom of PRAYER PARTNERS makes so much sense. Prayer partnering is not something stupid or fake that we do. I’m not trying to make something happen or create something. It is perfectly normal that brothers and sisters care about one another and support and love one another through prayer.

HOW OUR FATHER’S FAMILY GROWS

Through HOLY MATRIMONY AND HOLY ORDERS, our Father brings about growth to His family through our participation in the graces received. One of the main ways His family grows is through the birth, growth and flourishing of Christian families! There is something so special about the love between a man and a woman that our Lord has blessed it with an abundance of grace. When a husband and wife make the total gift of themselves to one another in the conjugal act, they participate in the very creative power of God: the conception and birth of new life! When Christian families love, teach, and set an example that allows their children to become living members of God’s family, it is then that our Father’s family grows and flourishes!

For those of us who are unable to conceive a child and for those of us who are not called to marriage, let us find our joy and fulfillment by exercising our spiritual paternity and maternity. By nurturing, supporting, strengthening, and loving those in our lives and parish family, the Lord blesses us with many sons and daughters!

In Holy Orders, our Lord chooses some of His sons to share fully in HIs priesthood. Jesus establishes HIs priests as consecrated fathers of His parish family. Our priests strive to remind us of who we are and all that the Lord has done for us, and equips us to embrace and continue the mission of Jesus in our own community. It is also through the gift of the priesthood that our Lord guarantees the grace and strength we receive from the sacraments.

MERCY AND HEALING ARE VITAL TO HIS PLAN

The mercy and healing we receive from RECONCILIATION AND ANOINTING OF THE SICK are a vital part of our Lord’s plan for our lives. Sometimes we approach our relationship with the Lord like this: He looks down on our life and sees on a given day that we have really messed up and sinned big time! In light of this, He hits the pause button, realizing His plan for us, and decides that He’ll check back on us in a few days or a few weeks! This is so contrary to the truth! As long as we continue to turn to Jesus and repent of our sins, our sins are not obstacles to His realizing His plan for us. It is precisely through encountering Jesus in the sacrament of reconciliation, receiving His love, mercy, forgiveness and strength that His plan for us flourishes!

The family dimension of the anointing of the sick is vital! Fr. Peter and I are called to the bedside of hurting people by family members. At times, we are unable ourselves to ask for help. What a wonderful gift we give to our older parents or relatives when we ask Jesus to come to them with the grace of His healing love and presence! We can also encourage neighbors and coworkers with serious illness to come and experience healing by placing their burden in the hands of Jesus!

OF COURSE HE LOVES YOU!

In our Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist, our Father most clearly reveals His plan for us and brings it about! He gathers us as His family. He speaks to us as a Father speaks to His children. Then, when the sacrifice of Jesus, who died in our place, is offered, torrents of love and mercy are poured down upon His family! The Eucharist strengthens our bond as brothers and sisters as our Father nourishes all of us from the same altar! As you receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, our Father confirms His love and plan for you: of course He loves you; of course He forgives you; of course you are not alone, He will never abandon you! Isn’t this Good News? Let’s be open to share this Good News about our Loving Father and our communion with His Son with others!

Remember to take time this week to pray for one another.

Fr. Michael