Saturday, May 29, 2010


Mercifully, our deacons are preaching this weekend, so I did not have to come up with a homily for this Sunday's solemnity. However, I post one that I gave in 2006 for this Solemnity. The reading were for cycle "B".

Introduction: The Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna has written, and I quote: “Something very strange has happened in recent years: Christians have lost touch with heaven. Of the desire for heaven, our heavenly home, we hear hardly a word. It is as if Christians have lost the orientation that for centuries defined the direction of our journey. We have forgotten that we are pilgrims and that the goal of our pilgrimage is heaven. Connected with this is another loss: we largely lack the awareness that we are on a dangerous pilgrim path and it is possible for us to miss our goal. To put it bluntly, we do not long for heaven; we take it for granted that we will get there. This diagnosis may be exaggerated, but I am afraid it is essentially true.

Topic Statement: Those baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit should never take for granted the love of God that makes heaven possible.

1. Our God, the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is pure love and integrity.

A. In my first year of seminary, I had a field placement in a Catholic home for abused and neglected children. In the orientation that I received by in the 1970’s prior to ministering to these children, the director of this home told us that in teaching about God, we should avoid using the term “Father” for the First Person of the Blessed Trinity. It was suggested that we use terms like Creator, or Source of all being or something else that was more neutral and non-relational than the word “Father.” The reason was that many of these children had had terrible experiences with their own fathers. They had been physically and sexually abused. Some years later, I thought that we had really done a disservice to these children since God as Father could have redeemed these children’s awful experience with parenthood. The fatherhood of God when properly understood and explained redeems any negative experience we may have had with our earthly parents and or their treatment of us.

B. Jesus certainly changed the nature and understanding of our relationship with God when he told us, “Address God as “Abba,” that is, “Daddy.” There was and is a huge difference between “Lord” and “Father.” “Abba” possesses an intimacy that had not previously been expressed between God and His people. In the Church and through our personal prayer, God relationship to us is so loving and intimate that we can refer to Him as “Daddy,” Heaven is the fulfillment of this loving relationship.

2. God the Most Holy Trinity loves us so much that in the fullness of time He sent us Jesus, the second person of the Blessed Trinity to save us and open for us the gates of heaven.

A. During the time of the reformation and still to this day, there are debates about how we are saved or get into heaven. The Protestant reformers were saying that faith alone saves us. Others were saying that good works can save us and still others were saying that faith and good works together are what saves us. In fact all of these statements miss the mark. It is God who saves us through His Son’s life, death and resurrection and by the power of the Holy Spirit. God does not need our consent to save us. That is why the Church has always baptized those who are incapable of responding to God, like infants, the mentally handicapped, and the comatose patient. Our ability to have faith, our ability to do good works come from God's grace and is a sign of God’s love and salvation at work in our lives.

B. How many of you have read the book or see the movie “The DaVinci Code?” The premise of the book is that the Catholic Church for 2000 years has kept secret the true identity of Jesus—that he was not divine, but a mere mortal man. It tells of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene and that Jesus has ancestors to this day from the children he fathered way back then. If Jesus is not divine—why should there be any interest in Him whatsoever? If Jesus is not divine—I dismiss you right now, “This “mess” is over, don’t come back!” But because Jesus is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, because He is one Divine Being with two nature, divine and human, we worship Him, we follow Him, and we strive to imitate Him. Because Jesus is Divine and brings us into an intimate relationship with the Most Holy Trinity through our baptism, we all become brothers and sisters of Christ—we are related to him and when we receive Holy Communion, His blood line courses through our veins. We should stand in awe and wonder of Jesus Christ and yes a bit offended by the blasphemy of the Da Vinci Code and its character assassination of the Catholic Church, our Mother who makes it possible for us to call God Daddy.

Conclusion: Because true and unconditional love can never live in isolation, God created us to be His sons and daughters in Christ Jesus. God loves what He has created and is a part of all of human history as well as our own personal histories. In this Most Holy Eucharist, may we be inspired to see heaven as our true home where all the brothers and sisters of Christ will live forever in the loving presence of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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