Homily for June 2019 Holy Hour
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
How much do you trust God?
Do you have the faith of Abram (who will become known as Abraham)?
The first reading for tonight comes from the very beginning of the story of Abraham. The very first words we hear God speak to Abram are, “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house.” God is telling Abraham to leave everything that is familiar to him. That alone can be a huge challenge. We are often comfortable with what is familiar.
Where is Abraham supposed to go? If it is a really good place, that would make it easier from him to leave what is familiar. However, God doesn’t tell Abraham where to go except “to a land I will show you.”
Abraham is to trust the Lord.
God makes a lot of promises to Abraham, “I will make of you a great nation..I will bless you” and “I will make your name great.” It might sound great but it is all in the future.
Abraham could have started asking questions like where or why. Yet, Abraham does not ask any questions. He simply “went as the LORD directed him” no questions asked.
Abraham is sent to a new physical place. I am going to a new geographic location but we are all facing changes. I know where I am going but I don’t really know much about the parish or the towns.
You aren’t changing churches (unless you go to Saturday Mass). If you normally come to 8:15 or 10:30 Mass you don’t have to even change Masses. You will still seem some differences. Maybe you will see some of the 4:30 people on Sunday morning. The priests will change. Will they do things differently?
What are we to with the changes?
We are to place our trust in God.
God is always with us, and, as Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” If we place our trust in God to lead us, He always will. He will always love us.
Can anything stop that? Paul writes, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the word?”
No…..none of these things can separate us from God. They may make us wonder why things are bad. They might make it hard for us to trust in God, but they cannot “separate us from the love of Christ.”
No thing, no person, life, angels, principalities, can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is God we are created to know and love. I turn to the words in our opening prayer that originally come from St. Augustine, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
We are created to spend eternity with God. Eternal life begins in Baptism but before Baptism we are first born in this world. This is only the beginning. We must be “born from above.”
What does “from above” mean?
Nicodemus misinterprets it as being “born again,” meaning to reenter our mother’s womb. He knows that is impossible. To be “born from above” is to be “born of water and Spirit.” This is Baptism. The waters of baptism both cleanse us (of sin) and give us life.
Which is more important to you, to be of the flesh or the spirit?
If the spirit, do you totally hand your life over to God or to you hold on to “control”? When you face “anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,” do you expect God to get rid of these things but leave the rest of your life alone? Or do you totally hand it over to Christ?
I know I didn’t ask for changes to happen. I’m guessing none of you wanted these changes either. We may not have asked for this but God will lead us through it. Jeremiah 29:11 provides us with God’s words to us about the future, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. “
God has a plan. It requires us to place our trust in him. How can we be assured that God will provide? Read the Bible to know that God has always been there for his people, so much so that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”