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Holy Sepulcher’s Message

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/03/24 at 12:00 AM
  •   Perhaps the most amazing pilgrimage site in the world is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. For within this historic building are the places where our Lord was crucified and died, and where He was buried.
  •   Just stepping inside this most holy of places stirs up a wide range of feelings from sadness and contrition for one’s sin, to gratitude and a profound hope for one’s own resurrection from the dead. And it stirs one to love our Lord more.
  •   Our readings today focus us on the sadness of death and the hope of resurrection. We’re given two examples from Scripture of people miraculously being raised from the dead: one by the prophet Elijah, the other by Jesus.
  •   Both of these readings remind us that death doesn’t necessarily have the final word, and that as followers of Christ and believers in His word, we are called to live in the hope that someday our Lord will raise us from the dead.
  •   But unlike the young boy revived by Elijah or the man from the city of Nain revived by our Lord in the readings today, our hope is not to be returned to earthly life, but to be raised from the death of sin so that we might live forever in Heaven.
  •   Recalling St. Paul’s words to the Philippians, we must remember, brothers and sisters, that our true citizenship is in Heaven! While our earthly lives may seem long, compared to eternity they are just a blink of the eye.
  •   So rather than being overly occupied with earthly things, our time on earth should be spent preparing to meet our Savior! And our Gospel reminds us of why we should want to meet Him – for He has the power to save us from death!
  •   While probably none of us will ever be raised from the dead like these two sons of widows that we hear about today, the truth of the matter is that most of us have been spiritually dead at some point in our lives because of our sins.
  •   Sin alienates us from God, and if our sins are serious enough, they cut us off from our Lord’s sanctifying grace. The very worst thing that can happen to any soul is to die in a state of mortal sin, for then there is no hope of salvation – but only the pains of hell.
  •   Truly, the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Yet, just as surely as Jesus revived the widow’s son from Nain from death, He can revive us from the death of sin through the grace of a good confession.
  •   When we are lost like sheep, it is in the confessional that our Lord finds us again and welcomes us back into the fold.
  •   Whenever we are in serious sin, most of us find our way to the confessional primarily out of the fear of hell. And this is fine. Going to confession out of a fear of hell is sufficient contrition for the sacrament to work. However this is not ideal.
  •   Ideally, we will approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation out of love for God and the realization that we have offended Him by our sins. This is perfect contrition.
  •   The more that our contrition is rooted in a true love for God rather than a fear of hell, the more deeply the graces we receive in confession can penetrate our souls and bring about the healing that will keep us from committing serious sins in the future.
  •   In the past two weeks I’ve challenged you to examine the way you worship our Lord at Mass and receive Him in Holy Communion, because worshiping our Lord and receiving Him in Holy Communion are the two most important things we do as Catholics.
  •   My goal here is to get you to examine just how much you really love our Lord because our love for the Lord is what is going to matter most on Judgment Day.
  •   Sadly, there are many distractions in our world today that make it easy for us to turn away from our Lord or to take Him for granted. Yet today’s readings call us to really consider all that that Lord does for us.
  •   The magnificence of the ineffable mystery of the Holy Trinity demands our worship. The gratuitous charity of the Eucharist demands our deepest reverence.
  •   And the fact that our Lord revives us from the death of sin so that we might live with Him forever demands our absolute loyalty and love.
  •   So how do we love our Lord? As with so many things, we can turn to the saints for an answer.
  •   The great mystic St. Teresa of Ávila says that loving God consists in “desiring with strong determination to please God in everything, in striving, insofar as possible, not to offend Him, and in asking Him for the advancement of the honor and glory of His Son and the increase of the Catholic Church” (cf. Interior Castle, 4.1)
  •   My dear brothers and sisters, do we truly give our Lord that loyalty and love that are properly His? Do we seek to please Him with everything we do, or is serving God and pleasing Him just an afterthought – or not even part of our thoughts at all?
  •   May we each rid ourselves of whatever attachments we have that might be offensive to our Lord, most especially any attachments to sin.
  •   May we all be willing to die to self and live for the Lord so that He may be more greatly honored and glorified, and so that our blessed Lord might raise us to eternal life!

09 June 2013

© 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, lease 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

 

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