Homily for March 2019 Holy Hour
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
How much do you know about our faith?
How well do you know Jesus?
I’m sure everyone here tonight knows the Lord’s Prayer by heart. How much time do you pray about what the words of this prayer that comes from Jesus really mean?
I know at least some of you pray the rosary at least once a day, if not more. It’s a lot of repetition. How much do you just say the words without meditating on the words and the mysteries of the rosary?
These prayers are meant to draw us into relationship with Jesus. The repetition of the rosary is meant to draw us into the presence of the Lord.
What do you seek from Jesus?
What did the Israelites want from the Lord? They had cried out the Lord while in slavery in Egypt. He set them free. Then, in the desert, they complained about not having food to eat. He gave them manna, the bread from Heaven.
Then, they grumble against Moses because they did not have water to quench their thirst. Food is necessary for life. Likewise, without water we die. They had every right to ask for food and water. Yet, it doesn’t say they “asked” for water. We are told they “grumbled.” Of course, God provides them water. He does it in a way no human ever could. The water flowed from a rock.
When you are in need, do you come to God with a contrite heart, submitting yourself to our Father’s Will, or do you grumble because God doesn’t make everything easy for you?
We sit before the bread in the monstrance on the altar. Do we know what the bread has become?
The obvious answer would be yes, it is the Body of Jesus. If we thought it was still just bread, we wouldn’t be here tonight.
Do you appreciate what it means to say it is the Body of Christ? Do you fully comprehend the mystery of the Eucharist?
I think a lot of people don’t. Why else would they not come to church? If you know it to be Jesus, why not come to Mass?
We just listened to the story of the encounter the Samaritan woman has with Jesus at the well. On her part, it started as a very superficial conversation. To her, it was two people who happen to go to the well to get water at the same time. She recognized Jesus as a Jew but nothing more.
So, she was shocked when He speaks to her, “give me a drink.” It’s not the words that shock her. She takes them at face value, thinking He asked for a drink because he had no way to draw water for himself. She was shocked because no Jew would talk to a Samaritan, let alone a woman. It just wasn’t done.
Jesus spoke of “living water” but she remained on a surface level and said it was impossible for him to give her water when He has no bucket.
While she remained on a surface level, she was intrigued when Jesus said those who drink of this “living water” “will never thirst.” How convenient it would be to never have to fetch water again.
I wonder how many people who have some sense of the Eucharist are in a place parallel to the thinking of this Samaritan woman. They know the Eucharist is something good but have a hard time appreciating or understanding why.
Jesus helped the woman along in her spiritual life by speaking of her husbands, something He would not know if He was just a regular Jew. So, she came to think He must be a prophet just as some come to realize the Eucharist is not just ordinary bread.
The conversation continues and deepens to talking about Jesus as the Messiah. She went and told us others what she has discovered about Jesus. She said to others, ”Could he possibly be the Christ?” She can’t explain it but she is coming to believe.
The transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus cannot be explained in earthly science. It is a mystery. We don’t have to be able to explain it. Science can’t but we have something better than science. We have Jesus’ words, “this is my body….this is my blood.”
Look at the bread in the center of the monstrance. See Jesus. Now, bask in his presence.