Homily for June 25

Photo by Gates Dupont

Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

(Technical glitch: no audio for this homily)

Note carefully that Jesus does not promise
that the Father's beloved sparrows will not fall to the ground.

Rather he promises that when they fall,
and they will fall,
the Father will not be unaware...

There may be times in our lives
when we think that the Father has promised (or should promise)
to keep us from falling, from being hurt, from suffering...
Or times when we think that the Father has promised
to keep those we love from falling, from being hurt, from suffering…

Of course, not even Jesus, God's only Son
was spared any of that.

But the Father knew every moment of Christ's pain and suffering
and when Jesus fell into into the arms of death
-- the Father allowed him to fall...

Most of us aren’t surprised that God allows those he loves to suffer
until we are the ones suffering.

But no one is a stranger to suffering -
even those we may think have been spared all suffering.
We never know the suffering hidden in the recesses
of another human heart, in every human heart.
God knows our every hurt and disappointment,
our every injury and pain, our every loss.

Even when we or someone we love
falls into the arms of death,
God’s mercy is the safety net
that assures us that God's watchful eye on our lives
is ever faithful and never in vain.

And of course there are countless times when the Lord calls on us
to be safety nets for one another,
to keep an eye on the well-being of others.

How many times in a day, in a week, in a year, in a lifetime,
how many times might you and I be the nets that rescue others
from loneliness, from poverty, from judgment, from hurt?

Just as the Father has his eye on the sparrow and on each of us,
so are we called to keep our eyes on one another:
on every one in our family
(yes even him whom you just thought of,
ever her who you find most difficult to deal with)
and all our neighbors,
in the parish, in the community
and far beyond our physical reach, those who suffer
all around the world.

Many if not all of us know the experience
of watching the suffering of someone we love
and knowing that we can’t make it all better,
that the best we can do
is to keep a watchful, prayerful eye on the one we love…

It’s a mystery to us why God allows suffering in the world,
and especially the suffering of the innocent and the poor
but though God allows such suffering,
he never takes his eye from us.

He never took his eye of his only Son, Jesus
and finally raised him up
from all suffering, all injury, all harm all hurt.

And that’s what he promises us as well.
Here at the altar Jesus draws us close to him,
under his watchful eye,
to nourish and nurture us,
with the strength and healing,
with the mercy and blessing,
with the grace and peace of the Eucharist.

To be worthy of such a gift,
God calls us to keep an eye on one another
as his eye is on the sparrow,
as his eye is on each of us.

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