2cornucopias

Chosen By God

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/03/17 at 12:00 AM
  • This weekend the Church celebrated the feast of one of her greatest saints: St. Joseph! As we consider all the many wonderful examples of faithfulness we find amongst the saints, it’s difficult to imagine anyone more beloved in God’s eyes than good St. Joseph.
  • Indeed, St. Joseph holds a very special place in Heaven because He was given the most difficult and important responsibility in human history: the earthly care of the Christ Child and His Immaculate Mother, and he completed this task with perfect fidelity.
  • St. Joseph is such a great saint because he trusted the Lord, even when doing so caused him much suffering.
  • Think of the pain Joseph must have felt when he could find no shelter for the pregnant Mary in Bethlehem, nor a place for her to deliver the Son of God, thus forcing him to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to our Redeemer in a cave.
  • Imagine the anguish in Joseph’s heart upon hearing Simeon’s prophecy that Jesus and Mary would be future victims of our sins, or the fear that seized him upon learning that Jesus was in danger from Herod, requiring the Holy Family to flee to Egypt.
  • Yet in all of these sufferings, St. Joseph trusted in God’s goodness and providence, even though he may not have understood why such things had to happen, and by trusting in the Lord, St. Joseph was able to help bring about the wonderful events of our salvation.
  • Because he trusted much, our Lord has now entrusted St. Joseph with the patronage of the entire universal Church. Not only is St. Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church, but he is also a model for all of us who seek to deepen our trust in the Lord.
  • And learning to trust our Lord is supremely important, for without a generous willingness to trust our Lord, we will never grow in the docility and obedience necessary to grow in holiness.
  • We must remember that, while our salvation is something we cooperate with and participate in, the actual work of our salvation is done by God.
  • Therefore, we must trust our Lord if we hope to be saved by Him, for cooperating in the work of our salvation always requires the pain of dying to one’s self and one’s desires.
  • This is why we say with the psalmist today: “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in You.”
  • For the past two weeks I’ve spoken about the necessity of obedience, but our obedience to God must not be blind, nor must it be given begrudgingly. To the contrary, our obedience to God must be rooted in a loving trust in God.
  • And we are given a beautiful example of loving trust in the person of Abram, the soon-to-be Abraham: the man we refer to as “our Father in Faith.”
  • Abram was a man for whom our Lord had great plans. As our Lord said to him in our first reading: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great so that you will be a blessing.”
  • Like St. Joseph, Abram’s great virtue was his trust in the Lord. Abram trusted that the Lord would provide him an heir, even though he was old and his wife was sterile.
  • Abram even trusted the Lord enough to be willing to kill that beloved heir when our Lord tested him by instructing him to do so. Because of this trust, Abram became Abraham, the father of many nations, and our father in faith.
  • Just as our Lord had great plans for Abram, He also has great plans for all of us. While most of us will never be great in the eyes of the world, our Lord does desire that we be great in His eyes by becoming holy.
  • As St. Paul tells St. Timothy today, God “saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to His own design.” But this holiness can only be achieved if we are willing to conform our lives to Christ, most especially in His suffering.
  • It is our trust in God that enables us to bear our “share of hardship for the gospel.” Our trust enables us to see our sufferings with the faith that tells us that our Lord can make us holy through all that we suffer when we unite our sufferings to His.
  • Of course trusting in the Lord can be a difficult thing, especially since we cannot see Him, and because it is often difficult to hear Him. Yet during His life on earth, Jesus gave us many proofs of His trustworthiness. Today’s Gospel story is a perfect example.
  • Our Gospel today tells us of the familiar yet amazing story of Jesus’ transfiguration before Peter, James and John. In this event these three apostles are given a glimpse of Jesus’ glory and a foreshadowing of His resurrection from the dead.
  • In this miraculous event Jesus proves that He is Who He claims to be: the only Son of God. Up to this point in His life, Jesus’ divine glory had been obscured and hidden by his human flesh.
  • Although our Lord had worked many miracles that revealed His divine power, never before had Jesus revealed His glory in such a way. And He did this not only to strengthen the faith of the apostles, but to strengthen our faith as well.
  • The very beautiful thing about this Gospel story is that, as we allow this mystery of Jesus’ life to strengthen our trust in Him, we, too, are transfigured.
  • You see, the more that we trust our Lord, the more docile and obedient we become. The more docile and obedient we become, the more willing we are to bear our share of hardship for the sake of the Gospel.
  • And the more we are willing to suffer in this way, the more we are transfigured into a greater likeness to Christ Himself.
  • My dear brothers and sisters, how much do you trust our Lord?
  • Our blessed Lord has great plans for all of us. He has plans for all of us to become holy andrighteous in His sight. But for this to happen, we must trust in His providential care – evenwhen doing so causes us to suffer; especially when doing so causes us to suffer.
  • Through the graces of this Mass and through the strengthening from the Eucharist we are about to receive, may all of us grow in our absolute trust in God’s love and mercy for us.
  • And by our trust in Him, may all of us be transfigured into a greater likeness of Him.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: