Fourth Sunday in ordinary Time, 2010
By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
January 31, 2010
January 31, 2010
Ecclesiology is a big word Father used last week and is from the word Ecclesial pertaining to the Church as the community of believers, with stress on their Faith and union through Love, and on the invisible operation of divine grace among the faithful. I'm telling you this because we had to take a course on the subject before ordination. Our teacher was Abbot Jerome and he gives us this book to read and of course you look who wrote it and it says, Abbot Jerome, so I'm wondering is this the only way to get rid of this book?
As the story goes we are assigned to read the first three chapters for the first class. OK, so I read the chapters and Oh my Gosh, what did he try to say? So the next class I finally raised my hand and asked, "Abbot what were you trying to say in these three chapters?" And he laughed, and said you'll understand the rest of the book, so I said, "why would you write something that no one can understand?" You have to keep your standing in academia somehow, he said.
The point to be made, I think, is that it is not necessary to make Church that complicated. For the most part we are a simple people with a simple Faith hat reflects the Life of Christ in the World.
Some stories are happening right here in our parish: You may remember that some time ago Father had given a very good Homily about being GOOD. Very GOOD and well done. So next week was my turn to preach and so I titled my homily out loud: Good isn't good enough, you must be Holy. So what is come out of that is that as I greet people, I will often say, be good and they will respond, be holy. A simple greeting and yet meaningful. It's amazing how quickly the little kids caught on.
Another happening of late goes like this: I will say to someone, I worry about you! This went one for few weeks when one of the young ladies said, you should worry about him! That was my opening: There were a number of people and so I gathered them around and said to them, that I have a story to share! I said. "when my Agnes died and we gathered here, I walked into the Sanctuary and Bishop was setting in Father's chair, I didn't know he would be here, so I walked over and greeted him and said, we worry about you, and he said don't worry, pray. I responded, oh Bishop, it is a great privilege to worry about the people you Love! So you see, I told them, I worry about all of you because I Love you. If I didn't Love you I surely wouldn't worry about you. St, Paul, today, reminds us that Love never fails. Not only does Love never fail but it can not be made less by giving Love. Love given increases the capacity to Love. So if I say to you, I Love you, that doesn't mean I Love some one else less. Never, never be afraid to say I Love you!
Today's Gospel from Luke begins the story of the journey Jesus must make to instill the Good News of Salvation in the world. This journey of Jesus is the beginning of what was called the Way, well before the title Christian. Maybe the best way to share with you the 2nd half of my homily is to title it:
I WANT TO WALK WHERE JESUS WALKS.
How many times in prayer or meditation have you said to yourself, if only I could walk in the footsteps of Jesus! You will note that my title does not say were Jesus walked, but where Jesus walks. This is from a meditation while I was laying back in my chair trying to say a Rosary.
Be careful now because I have new hearing aids and I can almost hear someone thinking, OH, Oh, we're in trouble now, Deacon is thinking! Listen up, because I bet you haven't thought of this before either. So let us consider our coming here to church after telling someone that you are going to walk were Jesus walks.
First of all, why would you say that and how would you explain it to someone from your own experience? For a moment go back to the beginning of this homily and reflect, CHURCH. Then recall the exchange that Saul had with Christ on the Road to Damascus, From Act, 9, 4-5, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' "Who are you Sir?" The voice answered, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting." Father reminded us last week that therefore when you persecute the Church you are persecuting Jesus and when you persecute Christ you are persecuting the Church.
Please understand that because you were Baptized you are the property of the Father, adopted Sons and Daughters. Baptized, priest, prophet and king. You are to be other Christs in the world, to do, to say, to perform the works of Christ. So now we can say without question that were you walk, there walks Christ. Coming here with brothers and sisters you are therefore walking were Christ walks. Consider this: if Jesus can say to Saul, "why do you persecute me", then you, setting here are Church, the very Body of Christ.
Again: where you walk, there walks Christ. Consider this: Father Statz is ordained Priest, that is with a capital P, because of Ordination is in the person of Christ, therefore were he walks, there walks Christ. When he walks down this isle, here comes Christ. When he steps to the altar there steps Christ. I said something like that to a priest one time and he said, don't put that load on me! I answered, I didn't but your bishop did.
The problem with all of this is exactly as Father has been saying, the unwillingness to really believe in the Incarnation. Not only, if that were not enough, that God becomes man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but that God in Jesus comes into us through Baptism and all the Sacraments, with highest value being in the receiving Jesus under the appearance of Bread and Wine.
Why can we not understand and believe that Jesus is who He says that He Is. You know the answer as well as I and know that is sin. I like to tell my 7th graders it is do to the new trinity, me, myself, and I. In other words, my will be done, not the will of God be done in my life. This is another one of these idea's that we come about late or often too late. God has created us individually for a purpose, however with a free will, to except or reject the plan of God in our lives. True happiness is to find that purpose and to fulfill it as best we can as a fore-image of what is awaiting us, Eternal Life with the Father in Heaven.