In our Old Testament reading God desires all people to know him, he chooses to write his covenant in their hearts. In John’s Gospel, Jesus faces rejection from people of the religion and secular leaders.Yet Jesus will in the end overcome rejection from the world. People are important to God. The homily asks what kind of people do we want to be?
Sometimes our most embarrassing and shameful sins cause a change in our lives. For a Christian to say, “ I use to be that way”, is an example that at times our sins teach us lessons that God uses our failings to bring us redemption.
Three examples of trust being asked… Abraham to trust his entire future into the hands of God. Jesus to trust that the cross will lead to glory. Disciples to trust that Jesus will be vindicated in the end, and they are to listen to him. Fr. Eric asks, “Does our nation has trust in each other to address serious issues?”
The problems in the world are many. We all encounter people who have heavy burdens and situations that can be overwhelming and painful. Sometimes it is you and me that find ourselves dealing with major challenges. I hope we can all experience a helping hand from friends, neighbors, family members and others who are there when we really need support. Sometimes we need to ask these people in our lives for help, and this may not be an easy thing for some of us. We may feel like we do not want to bother other people; some are embarrassed to ask; others are afraid to risk asking for help in their lives. One important factor, people need to ask, and people need to respond to the asking.
When Catholics gather for community prayer, there are times when many people are asking for support and help. There are many great causes and needs. There are many ministries at St. Patrick that are aware of special needs, and they want to ask parishioners to help. In large parishes like ours, there is always something happening where people are asked to respond in some way. “Wow! This can be a lot.” I get it. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply go into church, without all the external stuff happening, and experience good worship? Not a bad thing to desire at all.
So, if some people think that there could be a break from all the asking, I wonder if hungry people ever sit down with their loved ones and say, “We need to take a break from asking people so we don’t bother them. Let’s do without today.” Do people who lack basic necessities in life ever reach a point of saying we will not ask today, or for awhile, to give people a break? This is just something to think about.
Here is what I propose to help understand the huge needs of many people. First, one does not have to give in every instance. Sometimes it might call for a response of prayer or an awareness of needs that one day a need close to your heart might be the one for which to go the extra mile. Maybe just carry the need of these people to Mass and discern with the Lord what kind of response from our hearts could be the best way to help. Awareness is the first step where Christians might develop a deep love for a special cause or for people who suffer certain situations or conditions.
We are reminded that true worship is not worship that looks to escape the real world. Rather, true worship is always having before us the needs of people and knowing it is our call to respond in whichever way we can. Christians must not yearn for time off from hearing about needs of others, because these needs never take a day off. People’s hardships are always before them, but a simple response in some way by us could make a big difference. Now that’s true worship of God.
Peace in Christ,
Where are you and I struggling to find meaning and purpose in life? Jesus Christ brings salvation, purpose, meaning, and healing to our lives. There may be times when we forget this, but our scriptures, Mass, and communion are there to remind us.