Glimpse of God

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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.

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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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.”

 

2nd Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on March 7, 1993

Readings: Genesis 12:1-4; Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9

In today’s Gospel, we, like the apostles, get a glimpse of the glory of God.  We hear today that our God will bring us from our deepest depths to our highest heights.  Perhaps, during this season of Lent, we need to encouragement to keep going by hearing and seeing the glory of God.  It’s a respite that reignites our passion to work for God’s vision here on earth by reaching out and loving our sisters and brothers, without exception.

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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. 

 

 

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on August 30,1992

Readings: Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a; Luke 14:1, 7-14

We are reminded that if we want to be great, we should celebrate with and praise the least attended to among us.  If we want to strive for humility, then we should celebrate the reflection of God within ourselves and our sisters and brothers, despite our unworthiness.  It is the mystery of God’s love that makes each of us special and unique.  The challenge for each of us is to give thanks to God for our gifts  By giving constant thanks to God, we achieve humility. But we cannot stop there.  We must also reach out to all of God’s people and use the gifts given to us by God to enrich their lives.  In turn, our own lives will be enlightened by the beauty of Jesus in the face of those “outsiders” that we embrace. 

2nd Sunday of Lent

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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.

4th Sunday of Lent

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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.