Homily for May 28

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

Audio for homily

Have you ever wondered what Jesus does all day in heaven?
Does he have a job? some chores?
There’s a church document on worship
that offers us one answer to this question:
Christ Jesus, high priest of the new and eternal covenant,
taking human nature, introduced into this earthly exile
that hymn which is sung throughout all ages in the halls of heaven.
He joins the entire community of humankind to Himself,
associating us with His own singing of this canticle of divine praise.
(Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 83)

In other words, the risen Jesus stands forever before his Father
singing his thanksgiving  in a canticle of divine praise,
praying for us, for you and me, the community of humankind.

Jesus prays for us.
He said that in the gospel we just heard:
 “Father, I pray for them and for all those you gave me.”
You and I have been given to Jesus
by the Father of us all.

Of course, we pray to Jesus - but I wonder how often we remember
that Jesus prays for us, that he intercedes for us,
that he’s always putting in a good word for us and our needs.
He prays for us…

When I stand confused and threatened and frightened
in the face of terrorism and pray for an end to all my troubles -
Jesus is already praying for peace in the world and in my heart.

When I’m knocked down by illness (my own or others)
and I pray for healing -
Jesus is already praying for our health to be restored.

When I’m on the verge of falling for some temptation
and I’m praying to avoid it
(even if part of me really wants to go for it!) -
Jesus is already praying I have the strength to walk away
from whatever’s trying to seduce me.

When I find myself at odds with family members or friends
and I pray for the others to see that I’m right -
Jesus is already praying for my eyes to be opened in humility.

When I’m stressed, angry and short-tempered
and haven’t thought about praying at all -
Jesus is praying for me to calm down and ask for help.

When I’m carrying a grudge or resentment
and secretly hoping something bad will happen to another -
Jesus is praying for me to forgive the one who has hurt me.

When my prejudice and bias are blinding me to wisdom and truth
and I can’t see clearly between right and wrong -
Jesus is praying for heart to turn around
and my mind to open up.

When I’m about to bend or stretch the facts
to make things easier for myself -
Jesus is praying for me,
for my fidelity to the truth that sets me free.

When my heart is torn by loss and grief
and I think I might never be happy again -
Jesus is praying for me to let go and open my heart to be healed.

When I’ve screwed up big time, made the worst mistakes,
and I’m afraid to acknowledge what I’ve done -
Jesus is praying for me to pray to him
for his mercy and pardon.

When I’m lost and confused but refusing to ask for help and direction,
when I’m stewing in a corner I can’t seem to escape -
Jesus is praying for me to take his hand and follow him home.

When I realize I haven’t prayed for ages
and now I really have something to pray for -
Jesus is already praying for me
and for everything I truly need.

When I’m feeling hopeless and thinking God has forgotten me,
when I don’t know if or how I can go on -
Jesus is praying for me to know that he holds me in his arms.

And if I haven’t been to church for a long time
but find myself here today
then Jesus in heaven is singing that canticle of praise to his Father,
for me, because today - I came to pray.

So you can see that all of us are keeping Jesus pretty busy,
giving him more then enough things to pray for, for us -
as he stands before his Father in heaven.

And in those times, on those days, when I’m not sure how to pray,
or not sure what to pray,
I can always turn to Jesus and say,
 “Lord, I know you’re already praying for me.
and since I know you only want the best for me,
help me know what you’re praying for me
so I can join you in that prayer.”

And when I’m not sure what to pray
for someone I’m worried about  -
I can do the same, I can ask,
 “Jesus, I’m not sure what or how to pray for you-know-who,
so whatever you’re praying  for him, for her,
add my prayers to yours.”

And now we go to the altar - to pray -
and when we do we’ll find Jesus already there,
praying for us.
And not just praying for us but feeding us, nourishing us,
with his Body and Blood,
first offered for us on the Cross
where he stretched out his arms and pleaded,
“Father, forgive them, for the know not what they do,”
on the Cross where he stretched out his arms
and prayed -
for you and for me.



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