Glimpse of God
Originally delivered on August 8, 1993
Readings: Kings: 19:9, 11-13; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-33
In today’s readings, we are challenged to see God in our midst. In the Gospel, Jesus appears and approaches his disciples while walking on the water. Peter, in his human frailty, begins to sink when he is invited to walk on the water with Jesus. But Jesus, in a wonderful showing of his humanity, simply reaches out and catches Peter. From our scripture readings today, we know that there are precious few people that see God in all of His splendor. For the remainder of us, God is present in the faces and actions of our sisters and brothers. In this homily, we are reminded of the floods in the Mississippi and the tornadoes in Petersburg, VA not because of the natural disasters themselves, but because of the tremendous response from others who offered their help.
Originally delivered on July 15, 1990
Readings: Isaiah 55: 10-11; Romans 8: 18-23; Matthew 13: 1-23
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that those that are really listening, will truly hear God and see God’s hands at work in our lives. From Isaiah, God is likened to a gentle rain. And yet, we also know that God also speaks to us as thunder and lightning. In fact, God is always speaking, but are we always listening? In trying to discern the events of our day, we must know is that God is Love. As Paul spoke to the Romans in today’s second reading, we too are reminded “Creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but by him who once subjected it; yet not without hope, because the world itself will be freed from its slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Originally delivered on November 5, 1989
Readings: Wisdom 11:22 – 12:1; Thessalonians 1:11 -2:2; Luke 19: 1-10
The story of Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector and a short man, teaches us that we needn’t worry about things we cannot change, but rather change the things we can. We can waste time and energy trying to change things that we might view as a challenge or problem rather than seeing those challenges as gifts from God to be used to bring justice and dignity to all God’s people. In our collective diversity, God’s glory is made manifest.
Originally delivered on March 11, 1990
Readings: Genesis 12:1-4; Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9
In this week’s Gospel, Peter, James, and John see a glimpse of God’s glory as Jesus was transfigured before them. Sometimes each of us also need to see a glimpse of God to keep us going, doing the work commanded by Jesus to care for our sisters and brothers to bring about His kingdom here on earth for everyone. May we each take a moment to reflect on how we’ve seen Jesus in the work and love of others, but then allow their example to propel us to take action ourselves.
Originally delivered on March 10, 1991
Readings: Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-23; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21
In today’s readings, we are reminded that God speaks to us in surprising ways and we must always be open to God’s speaking, especially when He speaks in strange or surprising ways. In the first reading, we learn that the chosen people and the priests turned their backs on God. In response, God got very angry and punishes them, until Cyrus, the King of the Persians and a pagan, persuades God’s people to repent. In the second reading, Paul tells us that when we do good deeds, it is God working through us achieving good in the human context. Finally, in the Gospel, we are challenged by John to remember that we need Jesus to be lifted up and saved. Fr. Healy asks us to wonder if perhaps these readings today tell us that God often speaks through unlikely or unwelcome channels or people, and if so, whether or not we are really listening.