5/18/14

Homily for May 18

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

Audio for homily


So, on his last night with his friends,
Jesus lets them know he’s going away to another place
and he tells them “You know how to get there.”

But one of them, Thomas – very practical Thomas, says,
 “Jesus, we have no idea where you’re going!
How could we possibly know how to get there?”

Have you ever felt as Thomas must have here?
• Ever been in one place, not knowing how to get
to where you wanted to be?
• Ever want to go where the Lord was calling you
but you just couldn’t figure out where that was?
- or how to get there?

What Thomas really wants here is a GPS,
with the destination and shortest route, avoiding toll roads,
is already calibrated.

And that’s why Jesus tells him: 
Tom, you want to know the way?
 I AM the way!  I AM the GPS!
Stay close to me, as close as you can.
If you stand by my side you’ll always be heading in the right direction.
Follow the path, that in your heart of hearts, you know is the path
that leads to the truth.
And don’t take the shortcuts that skirt the truth.
Follow the way that brings you life and real peace
- and stay off the paths that dull and deaden you.
And if the road looks unfamiliar
and you’re afraid you’ll lose your bearings,
stick with me and I’ll get you where you want to go.”

That’s great advice – straight from Jesus!

But I still can get lost – and I still do get lost .
• I start to get lost as soon as I begin to think
that I can find my own way without God’s help.
• I lose my way as soon as I begin to believe
I can discover the truth apart from God’s Word.
• I get disoriented when, at life’s crossroads,
I’m sure I’ll choose the right path
without stopping to ask God for directions.           

But when I stay by the Lord, close to his side           
and let his Word map my route,
and when I walk in the company of other believers,
all of them seeking to follow the Lord’s way, too -
then I can be sure I’m on the road Jesus asks me to travel.

On the highways of our lives,
our gathering here in church on the Lord’s Day
is like pulling over on the interstate, into a service area.
Here is the exit we take to get our bearings.
Here’s where we rest from the hustle and hassles of our journey.
Here’s where we refuel, at this altar
where we’re nourished with the Eucharist
to give us the strength we need to resume, to continue on our journey
with the Lord as our guide.

It can be easy during the week to lose sight of the Lord along the way,
but every Sunday we can find him here at Mass:
in one another, in the word of the scriptures and in the Eucharist.
He waits for us here every Sunday,
ready to reset our GPS to the path that leads to peace.
He promises to be the way for us when we’re lost,
to show us the truth of things when we’re confused,
and to be our life, even when we travel in the shadow of death.
So take the exit, pull over, come to the table and be refreshed
by the One who is our way, our truth and our life.


Boys and girls: do you know what I’m thinking about today?
I’m thinking about your Second Communion day.
Your families have made a big deal of your First Communion Day.
And that’s great! That’s wonderful!
But I’m hoping and praying they’ll do everything they can
to make sure you come back next Sunday
for your second Communion day,
and then for your third and fourth… and well… 
I hope and pray you have a lot of Communion days
in your young lives.

You know, girls and boys, somebody older than you drove the car
that got you here today.
But really, it was you who brought a lot of people to church today.
For a lot of people who’ve been away from church,
you were the GPS that guided them here,
to hear the Lord’s Word and to meet him at this altar.

Thank you for doing that, boys and girls!
And welcome home to any folks
these children brought back to church today!
It’s good to make room for you at the Lord’s table today.

May what we celebrate here help us find and walk the path of Jesus.
Though we may not know where he’ll take us down the road,
we can be sure his path will  lead us to his altar again next Sunday.
Come to the table, then, with these children,
and be refreshed by Jesus: who is our way, our truth and our life.



 

     
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1 comment:

  1. Well said! So true. Thank you.

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