Sunday, October 21, 2012

Debt and the Undeserving--Homily for the 29th Sunday in OT

We all worry about the debt this country has accumulated.  It’s a wopping 16 plus trillion dollars.  We worry about how we will pay this back.  It’s on the mind of everyone paying attention to the election; the subject of both presidential candidates.  Each has a plan to lower it.  Now we may not agree with them.  But, I genuinely think each will try to reduce the debt how they see fit.  But it is massive.  It will take much sacrifice to bring it down.  Hopefully with the right decisions and good leadership, along with some sacrifice on our part, we will bring it down for our children and grandchildren.



But we all have another debt of which we should be concerned; maybe even fearful.  For this debt is even greater.  And it is not one that we, on our own, are able to pay down.



From our very first parents we have acquired a debt that is insurmountable.  Their sin and now our sin have left us separated from God, owing him more than we could ever pay back.  God gave us everything and we turned away.  God gave us everything and we chose what was not ours to have.  And so we hide from God knowing that we have not fulfilled our end of the deal.  Our guilt and shame is piled on top of us.  They weigh us down.  We can’t see through them and can’t reach God because of the great divide that we have created. It keeps us from being who we are called to be; from loving how we are to love; from being as happy as we should be. And no program, no works of our own, no good deeds could ever pay this debt back. The debt clock keeps ticking and there seems to be no end in sight. 

Then in the fullness of time, as the greatest act of love we could ever fathom, God came down to meet us and wipe our debt away.  He ripped up the promissory note.  He wound back the debt clock.  He wiped our slate clean.  Every mistake we made and sin we committed and the subsequent guilt we should bear was lifted from our shoulders.  Jesus could pay off the debt because he is bigger than the debt.  Being both God and man he has the resources.  He is the program.  He lifts the guilt off of our shoulders, places it on his own, and brings it to the cross.  In his death and resurrection it is all wiped way.  His love sets us free.  He loves us that much.



And so the divorcée lifts up her head.  The unfaithful father lets go of his guilt.  The struggling teen has a second chance.  The repentant criminal’s chains are broken.  The cheating executive has a new beginning.


Jesus bore the debt of our guilt.  He wiped our slate clean.  We can be free.




During this election season, there is another thing that we all worry about.  It is the role of government in helping the poor and the weak.  It is a discussion that we need to have.  As Christians we are called to uphold the common good; called to give a preferential option for the poor.  I think that each political party is interested in their own way of working to uphold the common good.  They are interested in helping the poor.  They just have different ways of going about it.



But when we help others we want to see that if we spend money on programs that our money is used wisely.  We want to see that our programs actually uphold the common good.  We also want to see that if we have programs that they are not being taken advantage of.  We worry that people are getting something that they really do not deserve.  This is pretty understandable.  We should be concerned with justice and fairness.  We should be wise with the resources we use and how we help others. 


But the reality is, though, that all of us are weak and poor in our own way.  And all of us, whether we realize it or not, are receiving that which we do not deserve.


I am not referring here to programs and money.  I am referring to God’s grace and mercy; to the forgiveness of our sins and the chance to go to heaven.  I am referring to God’s love.  For in our weaknesses, in our poverty as human beings suffering the results of the Fall and our sin, we have turned from God.  We have sinned against him and not only do we have the debt that is mentioned before, but we have our own weakness that has left us even unable to raise our gaze to our Heavenly Father.  Our eyes are left gazing on banality and mire and we don’t have the power to bring them to see the light of heaven.  And this is not just the rich or the poor.  It is us all.  No matter how hard we try we can’t gaze up.  We can’t see.  We can’t lift ourselves up to be with God because our weakness is too great.  No matter how talented we are or how good looking or how rich or how independent or how successful we can’t do it.  We are all too weak.  We are all too poor.




And so in the fullness of time, Jesus chose to become like us in all things but sin.  He embraced our weakness.  He embraced our poverty.  He understands them both.  And he brought our weakness with him on to the cross and transformed it through grace.  This grace made available to us can only be defined as gratuitous:  a free gift that did not need to be given. But God out of his love has given it to us.  So we receive grace that we didn’t earn. We each receive the ability to gaze upon God again even though we couldn’t lift our heads.  To be united with God even though we deserved division.  We received it and it was free. No sum of money could have purchased it, no plea could have won it, no rhetoric could have argued for it. We didn’t pull ourselves up to grab hold of it and we didn’t create this grace.  It was given to us as a free gift by the one who took on our weakness that we might truly be strong in him.  And so we are all receiving that which we don’t deserve.

But he loves us that much.  So we can be free.


People sometimes look upon saints within our church like they were out of their mind.  We wonder how they could ever have followed God as they did.  We wonder how a person could ever remain open to martyrdom.  Or how one could risk being rejected for their faith.  How one could stay faithfully married for life or choose to remain pure until marriage or practice business with honesty or sell all one has so another can simply eat.  Well I am certainly not there.  Perhaps some of you are. But my guess is that we are all still working on understanding this. I think that the key to living like a saint is found in debt and weakness.  The saints saw how great a debt they owed God, and that they could not pay it.  They saw how weak they were and they could not overcome it.  And then they saw that Jesus stepped in.  He took their debt on his shoulders and it was wiped clean.  He embraced their weakness and it was redeemed.  And then there was only one thing they could do:  Love and serve him who first loved and served us. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Una Vida de Sacrificio

Tengo una llave aquí.  Y esta llave es muy especial.  ¿Que piensas: que puedo abrir con esta llave? ¿Mi casa? ¿Mi coche?  ¿Tu coche?  ¿Esta iglesia? ¿Que piensas?  Es un misterio.  Esta llave puede abrir una puerta de alguna cosa, pero no sé cual cosa.  Pero ahora, voy a vender esta llave.  Y  si quieres comprar la, puedes usar esta llave para abrir lo que abre. 


¿Cuánto quieren gastar ustedes? ¿Cuánto quieren dar?  Cien dólares?  Quinientos dólares?   Mil dólares?  Cuanto  pueden gastar?  Cuanto quieren gastar?


Y si te dijera que esta llave no es una llave de mi coche, ni de mi casa, ni de tu casa, ni de ninguna cosa material.  Pero es una llave del cielo.  Y con esta llave, ustedes pueden entrar al cielo y permanecer y vivir con Dios por toda la eternidad. 


Ahora, cuanto pueden gastar?  Cuanto quieren dar por esta llave?  Diez mil dólares?  Cincuenta mil dólares?  ¿Y si les costara su vida entera?  ¿Ustedes quisieran pagar? 


Yo pienso que para obtener esta llave, para entrar al cielo con Dios, cuesta toda nuestra vida, y más que eso. 


En el evangelio de hoy un hombre rico viene a Jesús y le pregunta:

¿Qué debo hacer para alcanzar la vida eterna?  Jesús le responde que para alcanzar la vida eterna una persona necesita vivir con los mandamientos del Señor.  Y el hombre rico esta muy feliz, porque él vivía una vida buena, todo el tiempo él observaba los mandamientos del Señor. 


Pero Jesús le dice al hombre: tu vida es buena.  Pero, usted necesita hacer una cosa más: Ve y vende lo que tienes, da el dinero a los pobres y después, ven y sígueme.    Y el hombre se queda triste, porque este sacrificio él no lo puede hacer. Este sacrificio es demasiado.  Aquí, Jesús esta diciendo: para entrar a la vida eterna, cuesta toda nuestra vida.  Para entrar a la vida eterna, nosotros necesitamos sacrificar todo lo que tenemos.


Por lo tanto, la vida cristiana es muy difícil.  Es difícil porque es una vida de sacrificio.  Pero, en general, nuestras vidas son vidas de sacrificio.  Nosotros cuidamos a los niños todos los días.  Nosotros trabajamos en el campo por muchas horas cada día.  Nosotros intentemos amar nuestras familias y esposas todos los días y nos cuesta mucho.  Nosotros estamos separados de nuestras familias allá y es muy duro y es un gran sacrificio.  En general, nuestras vidas son vidas de sacrificio. 


Y ahora, aun más, en el evangelio, Jesús nos dice que necesitamos sacrificar más: para entra la vida eterna con Jesús, necesitamos trabajar mucho en el campo, cuidar a los niños, amar nuestras familias, y también, necesitamos dar todas nuestras vidas a Jesús. 


De vez en cuando, parece que Dios nos pide demasiado y no es posible vivir este tipo de vida.  La llave al cielo, de vez en cuando, parece que cuesta demasiado.  ¿Y que vamos hacer?


Cuando yo tenía once años mis padres se divorciaron.  Fue un tiempo muy difícil en mi vida, y en la vida de toda mi familia. Especialmente, fue un tiempo muy difícil para mi mamá.  Después del divorcio mi mamá, mis hermanos y yo fuimos a Minnesota para empezar una vida nueva.  Mi papá se quedó en Ohio.  Entonces, mi mamá necesitaba cuidar a los niños, trabajar para tener suficiente dinero para la mesa, y vivir una vida soltera y con vergüenza porque ella estaba divorciada. Para mi mamá, fue una vida con mucho sacrificio y fue muy duro.  También, mi mamá estaba enojada con Dios porque ella seguía Jesús.  Pero todavía, ella estuvo divorciada. Ella no quería sacrificarse más.  Porque ella no podía entender por qué Dios permitió estas cosas difíciles en su vida.  


Pero, una noche cuando ella estaba orando, ella se dio cuenta de algo: Jesús dio su vida para todos como un sacrificio,  ella necesitaba hacer lo mismo.   Pero ella no podía hacer este sacrificio sola.  Solamente con la ayuda de Jesús, ella podría dar su vida como un sacrificio. 


Todos los que están aquí intentan vivir una vida con Dios.  En nuestros corazones quieren seguir a Jesús.  Pero, casi todo el tiempo nosotros no podemos seguir a Jesús.  Hacemos cosas malas, cometemos pecados, e ignoramos Dios.  Nosotros fallamos en nuestra vida de fe.  Porque es un gran sacrifico y es muy difícil para vivirlo.  Y nosotros solos no podemos vivir esta vida de fe. 


Pero, pienso que Dios nos entiende.  Y Dios nos cuida mucho.  Porque Dios sabe que nadie es perfecto.  Lo que es importante en nuestra vida de fe es que intentemos vivir con Jesús.  Y Jesús da el perdón a nuestros pecados en el sacramento, y el da la gracia que es necesaria para vivir esta vida de fe.  Si es correcto, Jesús requiere que nosotros demos nuestras vidas enteras para entrar al cielo y vivir con Jesús por siempre.  Pero Jesús nunca nos saca.  Todo el tiempo, Jesús nos ayuda para vivir la vida de fe, la vida de sacrificio. 



Hay una llave aquí de vida eterna.  Nunca necesitas pagar por esta llave.  Cuesta demasiado y requiere nuestras vidas enteras.  Pero, gracias a Dios.  Porque Jesús pago por todo.  Jesús pago con su vida y por eso, nosotros podemos vivir con Jesús para siempre. Solamente necesitan tomar la llave y tratar de vivir una vida con Jesús.  Esta llave es para todo nosotros.    

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Being Incomplete--Original Restlessness: Homily for 27th Sunday in OT

One of the great blessings of being a missionary priest is that you get to be involved in highly academic, intensely theological ministries such as putting together a TV cart for the church.  Well, this was one of my tasks earlier this week.  Now I am a little OCD, and so love embarking on a task of putting things together.  However, when I am unable to finish the project I can get a little frustrated.  Now I was about half way done with said project and realized that the company simply did not send all of the pieces.  So, if you want to glory in father’s unfinished work, go on over to the office after mass and take a look at the almost finished TV stand.  It remains next to my desk, sadly, incomplete.  Regardless of our efforts, sometimes our experiences in life are simply left incomplete.


Hopefully we all had an opportunity to watch some of the debate on Wednesday.  Now, I know that many people’s heart pressure goes off the charts when we watch these things.  But I think watching them can be a helpful experience for us all.  I did not walk away from the debate overly concerned with who won.  Enough political pundits spend time dissecting these kinds of things.  I did, however, walk away with this feeling:  we have a lot to be proud of here in America.  However, the work which was begun over two-hundred years ago is still far from done.  We still have people in need of work, the poor continue to fall through the cracks, and there is a steady decline in the values we hold true as Catholics.  Unfortunately, just like my TV stand, our work as a country is still incomplete.


Whether it is putting a TV stand together, or assessing the progress of our country, this feeling of incompleteness seems to be something that part of human experience. 


We see in our first reading today that this was also the case in the beginning.  The first human being was created without a suitable partner.  Adam was incomplete.  Alone.  Out of love, God did not desire him to be alone.  So God created many things around the first human being.  Yet, as the scripture says, none proved to be suitable partners.  Often in our own search for being complete, we too find ourselves with unsuitable partners.



Johnny Lee, a country singer, could not have said it better with the title of his song:  “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places” This seems to highlight our efforts as human being to be complete.  To be whole.  To find someone or something that will ease the restlessness we feel inside.  For we too, spend a lifetime looking for love.  We have a great desire inside to be connected, to feel whole, to not be alone.  And yet in our misguided ways we search in the wrong places.  Our obsession in this area with alcohol and drugs is indicative of the human person’s attempt to drown the loneliness we experience inside.  We go shopping and fill our houses with stuff hoping that it fills the gap.  We move from one relationship to the next and the incompleteness remains.  We give ourselves over to another in ways that leave us feeling emptier inside.  We look for love in all the wrong places and find just as the first human being did:  there is not a suitable partner.



But God’s word to us is full of hope.  God created the suitable partner for the first human.  And in so doing man and woman, Adam and Eve, found each other.  And they were joined together.  They experienced being whole.  There was an interconnectedness that existed between them that could not be denied.  One could not exist without the other.  Both were needed to feel complete. 

In the movie Jerry McGuire, Tom Cruise is a sports agent who has fallen in love with Renee Zelweger, a co-worker.  However, their work seems to be driving them apart.   Tom Cruise finally comes to the point where he must be with Renee.  He rushes to her home to express his love.  In front of her seemingly anti-male support group, he cries:  I love you!   You complete me. He begins to ramble and lose his words.  She then tells him to hush up, for he had her at hello. As cheesy as this may be, I think this movie touches on our very experience of being incomplete.  We date and look for a partner for the very reason of wanting to be whole.  The other person fills a part of our heart that longs to be connected, longs to be loved, and longs to be complete.  Just like the case with Adam and Eve.


Unfortunately, as we know, this is not the entire story.  God had created a perfect plan for human beings to be complete.  But the selfishness of human beings distorted that plan.  Sin entered the picture.  And with sin, a greater sense of being incomplete actually entered our experience.  Now we not only experience our original incompleteness.  But more, there is the feeling of still being incomplete in the very presence of the other person whom we love.  There is the separation of Adam and Eve.   And there is also the separation with God.


I had the chance to speak with a friend of mine and his wife, and they talked very honestly about their marriage.  They are still deeply in love.  They are both happy with work and with caring for the kids.  Yet they both honestly told me:  they still experience moments of terrible loneliness and incompleteness.  Some of their loneliest experiences are the nights after they have had a fight with one another.  They lay in bed together unable to talk or hold the other person.  The few feet between them on the bed is like a vast canyon waiting to swallow them both.  Lying next to the one whom they are joined in love, they still feel incomplete. 

Fortunately for us, the reality of Jesus Christ has changed everything.  Only in Christ can we find the answer to our incompleteness.  Only in Christ can we be made whole. 



In Jesus, we are able to make friends with our incompleteness.  Most of us are so afraid of our being incomplete.  It shows forth in our inability to sit quietly for just a few minutes.  It shows forth in our constantly having the TV on, our constant use of our phones, or our desires to always be active.  Yet our incompleteness is a real gift.  Becoming friends with it, we can harness it as the very source that drives us to love others more deeply. Still more, it can motivate us to love God more deeply.  It can propel us to fall in the arms of Christ to find the wholeness we seek.



Still more, without Jesus, we find that no created thing, even our best friends, children or spouses will make us complete.  Jesus allows us to give more fully of ourselves to others, and to also love and accept them.  We do not have the capacity to love each other in this way without the grace of Jesus.  We cannot be friends without Jesus.  We cannot be spouses without Jesus.  We cannot be HUMAN without Jesus.  That is why marriage must be a sacrament.  It cannot be just a civil issue.  The two cannot become one without Christ and his grace.  The two cannot bridge the gap between each other without the one who bridged the gap between our humanity and God’s divinity.




Finally, we must accept that this place is not our home.  The earth, our families, even our experience of God here will always leave us longing for more.  We should enjoy and love and care for the beautiful things around us, but they are passing away.  For this very reason, during the Mass, we actually pray for Christ to come again.  For only in his coming again, will our hearts find the peace and wholeness they seek. 




I know it was cheesy when Tom Cruise said it to Renee Zelweger.  I know country songs can be a little melodramatic.  But in a real sense, we can say to Jesus:  We have looked for love in all the wrong places.  But finally we have found the one who completes us.  Jesus, you complete us.


Friday, October 5, 2012

26th Domingo en Tiempo Ordinaria--Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.

Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.


¿Crees en el amor a primera vista?  A mi me gusta a ver los jóvenes que se enamoraron a primera vista.  Cuando el muchacho se encuentra a  la muchacha por primera vez, él no puede hacer nada.  Él no se puede mover, él no puede respirar, él no puede hablar.  Él no puede hacer nada.  La muchacha quiere saber el nombre del muchacho, pero él no puede recodar su nombre.  Finalmente, cuando él esta con sus amigos, él dice: hay yai yai, ella es mi amor verdadero.  Mi corazón esta en sus manos.  Desde este momento, mi vida ha cambiado.  Nunca será el mismo. 


Pero, nosotros sabemos que estos sentimientos van a cambiar.  No es posible el mantener sentimientos como estos toda la vida.  Sí, es verdad que el corazón puede cambiar por siempre, pero a menudo los sentimientos cambian.  Eso es necesario para que, durante toda la vida pueda reanimar los sentimientos, y también, la relación.







Pienso que es lo mismo en nuestra relación con Jesucristo.  En el principio, en el bautismo, nuestros corazones han cambiados.  Jesús vive en nuestros corazones.  Y porque Jesús vive en nuestros corazones, nosotros estamos llamados a ser profetas, como Jesús.  Pero, después del bautismo, cuando nosotros tenemos más años, nuestra relación con Jesús calma mucho.  Los sentimientos salen.  Y en este momento es muy difícil para ser profetas de Jesús.  En esos momentos nosotros salimos de la iglesia, tenemos problemas en nuestras familias, y hacemos cosas malas.  Entonces, necesitamos reanimar los sentimientos, y también, la relación con Jesús. 


En la primera lectura de hoy, dos hombres con Moisés reciben el espíritu.  Y ellos pueden hacer cosas milagrosas.  Lleno de alegría, Moisés dice: Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.  Y hoy, a nosotros, Jesús nos dice lo mismo: Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.  ¿Y porqué nosotros estamos esperando?  Porque nosotros no aceptamos la llamada de Jesús, la llamada de nuestro bautismo, para ser profetas?  Yo pienso que ahora es el mejor tiempo, el tiempo perfecto, para reanimar nuestra relación con Jesús, y para ser profetas. 




Jorge es un profeta de Jesús.  Él trabaja  mucho durante la semana.  Y su trabajo es muy duro y le cuesta mucho.  Pero todos los fines de semana trae a su familia a la iglesia.  Él sabe que para ser un hombre, para ser machísimo, debe ser un profeta de Jesús.  Y un profeta de Jesús trae su familia a la iglesia, porque también su familia necesita a Jesús.  Él es un profeta de Jesús. 


Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.


Sasha es un profeta de Jesús.  Después de que ella ha recibido su confirmación, ella empieza a servir a las personas en su comunidad.  Ella trabaja mucho en sus clases en la escuela, y también ella todavía estudia su fe.  Ella sabe que es muy importante seguir estudiando matemáticas como lo es el estudio de la fe.  Y ella casi nunca se pierde la misa, porque ella necesita a Jesús en su vida durante este tiempo difícil y complicado.  Ella es un profeta de Jesús.


Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.





Y Javier e Isabela son profetas de Jesús.  Ellos están casados por muchos años.  Ellos han experimentado muchas cosas difíciles en sus vidas.  Pero, todo el tiempo, ellos regresan a Jesús y a la iglesia por apoyo.  Ellos comparten sus historias y experiencias en la fe con sus amigos que no van a misa.   Y ellos los invitan a venir a la misa.  También, ellos proporcionan comida a otras familias que no tienen suficiente comida para sus familias.  Ellos son profetas de Jesús.


Ojala que todo el pueblo de Dios fuera profeta.


Pienso que todos aquí quieren ser profetas de Jesús.  Pero a veces pensamos que no hay suficiente tiempo, o somos tan malas personas para servir Jesús, o tenemos temores para servir, o tenemos otras distracciones en nuestras vidas.  Pero Jesús nos llama ser profetas.  Y necesitamos tomar la decisión.  Y ahora es un buen tiempo para reanimar nuestra relación con Jesús.  Ahora es un buen tiempo para ser profetas.


26th Sunday in OT---Would that all the people of the Lord were Prophets

Baw da bump ba ba….   I am sure each of us here can finish that little jingle.  For years now it has woken up our taste buds and made our mouth salivate.  In just a little jingle we can smell the golden fries salted to perfection, we can see the special sauce dripping off the beef patty.  Drive down the interstate and catch a hint of the golden arch and we know that a Flurry of fun awaits our senses.  Walk in to this particular fast food joint all around the world and you can simply name your number and you know what you are going to get: a consistently greasy, appetizingly unhealthy, piece of heaven.  The people working with Ronald have figured out the way to promote their product—a little jingle, a golden sign towering about the landscape, and they have us hooked.  They have perfected the art of promoting—of being prophets—of their own product.


We do pretty well this day in age at promoting—being prophets—of our own product, too.  Facebook, Twitter and the Blogosphere have allowed anyone and everyone to put their entire life on the Internet—most of which people just really don’t need to know. From when we are going to the bathroom to the latest pimple on our forehead to our horoscope to Lady Gaga’s  weight to our BFF, relationship status , what we  like and want to share—we have become pretty good prophets our own product.  All people need to do is visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and they get a pretty good idea about what is important to us, about what we promote and what has value in our life.  Perhaps, maybe, there is something more in our lives that we could be promoting.





I was at the lake this last weekend and I saw something that one normally does not see in late September in Minnesota (mostly because the lakes are practically frozen by this time).  A local church was baptizing a number of people in the water.  The preacher walked in with the folks and fully submerged them.  They were completely dunked in the water, and when they came out, they were not the same.  Of course they were soaked and gasping for air.  But at that moment their soul had changed.  They had been filled with the Holy Spirit.  And from that Spirit they were called to give their lives totally and completely in following Jesus—being his prophets here on Earth; to promote Christ to the world.


Now most of us do not remember our own baptism.  We were but infants.  But the effects are the same:  in our baptism we were created as new people.  We can no longer be about promoting ourselves or our own product, we are now called to promote, to be prophets, of Christ. 


In the first reading today Moses has found himself in quite a struggle.  The people he is supposed to be leading to the promised land are losing their patience.  They have been wandering for far too long.  They are tired.  Giving up hope.  Complaining. They are turning away from God, and towards idols.  And Moses is in over his head.  He simply can’t seem to handle all that the people are asking of him.  Like a miracle, the spirit goes out on many people around Moses.  The Spirit empowers them to help Moses.  To guide the people.  To carry out the Lord’s work.  To be prophets for God.  A few people try to stop this work of the Spirit, and yet Moses says very emphatically: Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets.


We find ourselves, too, in a time of great wandering, complaining, struggling and turning from God.  The perilous times we find ourselves in seem to be overwhelming humanity and even us as Church.


Violence envelops the world

Narcotics invade our homes

Anger abides on our televisions

Trafficking tears away innocence

Laws limit our religious freedom

Conflicts cut at our marriages

Relativism ravishes our values

Individualism isolates the lonely of society



We wait around for God to act.  We wait around for leaders to arise.  We wait around for the perfect political party to solve our problems.  We wait around for a miracle.  And God says to each of us, to each of the baptized, not just priests or the ones with money or the good looking ones or the smart ones or the witty ones or the talented ones or the strong ones or the secure ones---to each of the baptized, God says: Would that all of my people were prophets.



Would that all were prophets and forgave those who have harmed us

Would that all were prophets and sought out help for their addictions

Would that all were prophets and embraced the moral code of the Church

Would that all were prophets and returned to God in the sacraments

Would that all were prophets and noticed the suffering of millions of unknown voices

Would that all were prophets and loved their families through it all

Would that all were prophets and supported those on the margins of society

Would that all were prophets and shared food with those who go hungry

Would that all were prophets and cared carefully for what God has created


Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets


As a newly ordained priest one of the real gifts that I have been given is the chance to visit with our homebound folks.  To bring them communion.  To sit with them.  To listen to them.  Many of the people that I have been able to visit are approaching the final stage of their life.  They have been struggling with some kind of illness or disease and are slowly losing the battle.  At this point in their life many of them are very reflective.  They are taking a long look at the life they lived and wondering what difference it made.  Most of them can see that when they die to this world the thing that will remain is the memory people have of their life and the people whose lives they were able to touch.  Coming close to the point of death, they see more clearly what kind of prophet they were in this life.  They see who or what they promoted.  They see how well they were able to live out their baptism.


Most of us will not find ways to be prophets promoting Christ through some jingle, or a golden arch, or Facebook, or even Twitter.  The greatest means that each of us has to be prophets of Christ is the very example of our lives.  When we reach the end of our days will we be able to say that we lived our lives to promote Christ, to be his prophets, to bring his love, compassion, forgiveness and peace to this world?



Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets.