08/06/2017 - JOY, PEACE, AND PURPOSE!


Jesus is such a good and loving Savior! The gift of His Holy Gospel is a sure means for us to encounter Him, to hear His voice, and to experience is guidance through our life’s journey. This past Sunday, Jesus pointed the way to a life changing and life-transforming DISCOVERY. He reassures us that when we make this DISCOVERY, it’ll become the source of an indescribable JOY, PEACE, AND PURPOSE! So, to help and inspire us to be receptive and to respond to the guidance of our Savior, let us open our hearts as we listen attentively to what His Holy Word is saying.


As we turned to the first reading, we allowed King Solomon to give us his testimony. He shared with us: Look, I was a mere youth when the living God chose me and established me as the King of Israel. Boy was I overwhelmed. I was in over my head. I was anxious as I realized I didn’t know what to do. Then, in my anxiety, something amazing happened. The living God drew near to me. He spoke to me. As I was in His presence, I was overwhelmed now by His love and power. As He read my heart, He said to me: Ask something of me and I will give it to you. Spontaneously, I asked Him to give me a new heart! I asked Him to give me an understanding heart. In that instance, I began to feel His wisdom, love, power, and compassion flowing through every ounce of my being! Through this whole experience, I learned a very important lesson. Let us speak sincerely from our heart to our Father. Let us turn to Him frequently in prayer. He is such a good and loving Father, the very instant we turn to Him in prayer, we will realize that He already has the perfect gift ready for us, the gift that we need in that exact moment of our life.


The DISCOVERY that our Savior points us to be is quite simple. It can be summarized in a few words:

THE GOOD NEWS IS REAL! Our FATHER really does love this world so much that He gave us HIS SON! He really loves you so much that He has given you HIS SON! JESUS REALLY WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN

MARY! Jesus truly walked this earth; He supped in our homes, taught on our streets, and worked countless miracles of healing. He really broke the chains of the evil one. He truly suffered and died on the Cross in our place, and He really rose from the dead! He is alive! We can know Him and love Him! And at every Mass, we really receive His most Holy Body and Blood!


This discovery causes a great joy to well up from the deepest parts of our being. We are loved! When we speak of our Father’s love for us, it is not a passive love. When we say God loves us, we don’t mean He has warm feelings about us. He has chosen to be our God. He has chosen to be our Father. He is longing to extend His mighty arm to crush our enemies, to set us free, to heal us and to guide us through our life’s journey.


We have a tremendous peace because Jesus has prepared an eternal dwelling for us in our Father’s kingdom. So many things in our life will pass. This world and this earth will pass, but our dwelling in our Father’s house remains forever. We experience peace because, yes, we will close our eyes one last time at the end of our journey, but we are confident that when we open our eyes we will see Jesus! Jesus will lead us to our Father. Our Father will take us up into His loving embrace and take us to our place at table!


The discovery gives us great purpose too! Our love matters! Whether or not we love one another in the same way Jesus loves us is the determining factor in how we will spend our eternity! There are people dying to be loved by us. We all have a handful of people in our lives that are longing to be loved by us. We just might be their only chance to hear about the Good News of Jesus! Yes, we have faith in Him! Yes, we love Him! Let’s open our hearts to the courage to tell others about Him!


St. Paul in his letter to the Romans painted a most glorious picture of what our life will look like once we’ve made the discovery. “For those of us who love God, all things work to the good!” Everything in our life, all that happens, will be an experience of the presence, love, and power of God transforming all things unto our good. From the day I knelt on the floor of my dorm room in West Quad at U of M to this very day, St. Paul’s vision has been my experience of life. Even when I experienced a most bitter betrayal, a betrayal that caused me to sob uncontrollably because of the hurt, in that moment Jesus placed these words on my lips: “Thank you, Jesus!” I knew that our Savior was with me and that He would never abandon me. I knew Him to be a mighty Savior and He would transform the hurt from that betrayal into something good for me! And, boy, did He ever!


In His Gospel, our Lord helped us to understand that the DISCOVERY calls for a total response and total surrender of our lives. The one who found the treasure and the one who found the pearl of great price SOLD EVERYTHING in order to own the DISCOVERY! Does this sound extreme? To be a Christian means we completely surrender our lives to Jesus. Well, think about your own experience. What does our Father do every Sunday? In the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus, our Father places HIS ALL, HIS EVERYTHING in your hands or on your tongue. It is a fitting response for us to respond with the Father’s gift of HIS ALL BY PLACING OUR ALL INTO HIS LOVING AND MIGHTY HANDS! Let us chose to live our lives no longer for ourselves but for Him who suffered and died for us and was raised!

Whatever your plans are for this week, let’s remember to keep each other in prayer.

In Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Michael