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“God’s Got a Plan” – Homily for April Holy Hour

Homily for April 2019 Holy Hour
Jeremiah 29:10-15
Psalm 31
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Luke 22:39-46

Next week we will celebrate the Passion of Jesus.  We know that God had a plan to save his people that culminated Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Knowing of the Resurrection helps us to see the value of the Crucifixion. 

On at least three distinct occasions Jesus told his disciples about his coming Passion.  He told them that He would be arrested and crucified.  He told them that He would rise on the third day but they had no idea what it meant to rise.  So, it was no consolation for them.  Thus, the Crucifixion made no sense but it was God’s plan.

God has always had a plan.  Sometimes the plan seems obvious.  Other times, we can feel like we have no idea what we are supposed to do.

Sometimes even when we know the plan, it can be difficult to fulfill.  Jesus knew what the Father’s plan was for him.  He knew He must suffer.  Still, in the garden He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me.”  Jesus didn’t want to suffer but He accepted it as He finished his prayer with “still, not my will but yours be done.

God has always had a plan.  He rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  He formed a covenant with his people that included the Ten Commandments and his promise to be there for his people.  God honored his part but the people sinned. 

God allowed them to suffer the consequences of their choices towards evil.  He allowed them to be defeated by the Babylonians.  Many were taken into exile.  However, that was not the end of God’s plan.  Even as the Exile began, God told his people through the prophet Jeremiah that it would only last 70 years.  God never abandons his people but sometimes do need to wait, knowing God has a plan for our “welfare and not for we.”

God can choose to reveal his plan in any way He wants.  Our goal in prayer should be to follow his plan.

Yet, often we are not patient in waiting for God’s direction.  Sometimes we go and start our own plan.  When we do so, our tendency is to think about what we are good at and focus on that alone.

However, that isn’t always the way God works.  Sometimes God chooses to work through our weaknesses so that we know it his grace at work as He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weaknesses.”  When we accept our weaknesses, we open ourselves to God’s grace.  We stop trying to do it all ourselves and we let God in.

This doesn’t mean that everything that happens is the way God wants it.  For instance, it’s no secret that attendance at Mass has been going down for years just like the number of priests and religious.  God did not cause the decrease in numbers but He does have a plan on how to deal with it.

God has plans for us as individuals and as a community of believers.  The Catholic parishes of Wayne County spent fifteen months discerning together how to collaborate in light of declining numbers.  Now we have a plan and we await word when it will be implemented.  It won’t be easy but, done well, it will help strengthen our Catholic Church.  Pray that it be done well.

We will lose a Mass (4:30) but we can share ministries.  We can share resources to ease the financial burdens and eliminate needless duplication of efforts.

At the heart of good planning is a desire to do God’s Will.  Jesus gives us the perfect example of this when He prayed in the garden, “not my will but yours be done.”  This becomes our prayer when, in the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “thy will be done.”

Are you ready to surrender to the Father’s Will?

God has a plan for each one of us.  Sometimes the plan is for us to “do something.”  Other times, it is to pray for others to do their part.  Everyone can pray that God’s Will be done.

Remember Jesus’ final words, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” 

Now, look at Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and pray for God’s Will to be done.

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