Sunday, April 28, 2013

Homily for April 28


Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily



“So, what’s new?”

How often do we ask that of one another?
Sometimes we ask without really expecting an answer.
And often our answer is, “Oh, not much!” or “Same old same old!”

Could it be that we’re really that jaded?
that our lives are that boring and repetitive?

I know if you ask these girls and boys what’s new today
– they have an answer!
What’s new is that they’re receiving Communion for the first time.

And there are a lot of new things in the scriptures today.
The second reading told us of a new heaven, a new earth,
a new city, a new Jerusalem, a new time when,
God will wipe away the tears from our eyes…

And in the gospel Jesus gives us a new commandment,
that we love one another – as he has loved us.

Jesus also told us that unless we become like little children,
we won’t find the kingdom of God.
Children find it much easier to believe in and hope for new things
because so much is still ahead for them in life.
It’s us older folks who wonder if anything’s really new under the sun.

• We get settled in our way of life, in our habits, in our relationships;
and much too soon we stop working to make them fresh and new
and we settle for what’s old and stale.

• We get settled in our own ideas and presumptions and prejudices,
we stop expecting progress and we give up on one another
- and even on our selves.

• We figure things aren’t going to change, aren’t going to get better,
and so we accept them as they are, even if we’re unhappy,
And we can be this way with the Church – and with God, too.

Have any of us stopped expecting God to do something new in our lives?
It’s to hearts like ours
that the scriptures speak today about “new things.”

I wonder: might we, in the happiness these children bring us today,
might we wonder what new things God might like to do in our lives?

Is there something new you’d like God to do in your life?

I wouldn’t mind a new waist line. Or a new hair line.
And when I look at my check book, I wouldn’t mind a new bottom line.
But those probably aren’t the new things God has in mind for me.

• But is there something new I’d like God to do in my family?
Is there something new you’d like God to do in your family?
And what might you or I need to do in our families
to help God do something new there?

• Is there something new you and I would like God to do in our hearts?
Do I need a change of heart? a softer heart to replace a hardened heart?
do I need a pardoned heart? a forgiven heart?
And what might you or I need to do to help the Lord
change, soften and pardon our hearts to make them new?

• Do any among us need a new openness to the life of the Church?
Have we been angry with the Church? away from its prayer?
have we decided the Church can do nothing good? nothing new?
Will we let the joy of these children touch and heal
our faith in the Church?
Will we invite God to do something new in our lives
and bring us back, bring us home to the Church and its prayer?

In the scriptures today the Lord promised a new heaven, a new earth,
a new city, a new Jerusalem: he promised to make all things new.
What needs to be made new in your life and in mine?
Will we welcome what God wants to make new in our hearts?

In a few minutes we’ll go with these children to the Lord’s Table
to celebrate something very old, the Eucharist.
But in the Bread and Cup of this sacrament,
in the sacrifice of this altar,
the Lord is always doing something new.
He’s giving us anew a share in his life,
to nourish and strengthen us to keep his new commandment
that we love one another as he has loved us.

In the celebration of this sacrament,
the Lord wants to do something new
in the life of every one of us here.

May God restore the joy of our youth,
wipe away the tears from our eyes,
and do something new in the lives of our children
and in the hearts of all of us who love them.


 

     
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