Splendor Revealed

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/05/05 at 12:00 AM


  • Last Sunday I spoke about the veil that exists between Heaven and earth, a veil that exists between God and man because of man’s sinfulness. And I mentioned how occasionally in the course of human history, that veil has been pulled back, revealing something of God’s power and glory.
  • The Christmas mysteries of the Incarnation, the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord are all such examples of historic events in which that veiled has been pulled back.
  • In today’s Gospel we are given another example of this pulling back of the veil with our Lord’s first public miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. In fact, the Gospel tells us that this miracle revealed our Lord’s glory, and that “his disciples began to believe in Him.”
  • Certainly, in order to stir up belief in His divinity is part of the reason why Jesus performed His miracles. Jesus wanted to prove His divinity in order to draw people to Himself.
  • Jesus knew that simply telling people that He is the Son of God would not be enough. His life and His actions had to give witness to His divinity as well.
  • So throughout the three years of His public ministry, most of which took place amongst the rolling green hills and quaint villages of Galilee, Jesus performed many miracles of all different types in order to manifest His divinity.
  • Our Lord healed the sick, He cast out demons, He raised the dead, He walked on water, He multiplied loaves and fish, and as today’s Gospel recounts, He even changed ordinary water into fine wine. And because of these miracles, many people did come to believe in Him.
  • Last week, in addition to speaking about the veil that separates our earthly reality from the heavenly reality, I also talked about the beauty of the Sacrament of Baptism and how it makes our souls the very dwelling place of God.
  • Baptism forgives our sins, it implants the virtues of faith, hope and charity within us, but it also incorporates us into the Body of Christ. It is our baptism that actually makes us Christians.
  • When we are baptized there is an indelible mark imprinted upon our souls that signifies the remarkable change that has taken place, for through baptism we are freed from the spiritual darkness into which we are all born, and we are made the brides of Christ.
  • Just as a bride takes on the surname of her husband as a sign that the two are now one flesh and that she, by her own volition, places herself under the mission of her bridegroom, so too do we take on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and humbly submit to Him when we are baptized.
  • Through baptism we become Christians in the truest sense; we become joined to Christ in a covenantal relationship and take on the name Christian.
  • But unlike a human surname that we can change by a simple legal process, we cannot simply throw-off this name Christian, for becoming a Christian is not a legal process nor a mere arbitrary decision that we can reverse once we’re tired of it.
  • Becoming a Christian, my friends, is a moral decision that entails a supernatural process, and it can never be reversed.
  • Whereas it is customary to wear a ring as a sign that we are married, a sign that we can remove at will, the sign of our baptism is the indelible mark that adorns our souls – and it can never be removed.
  • True, one may forsake this mark or renounce it, but we can never rid ourselves of it. It will be with us for all eternity, whether we like it or not, whether we live up to it or not.
  • So while our human marriages last only until one of the spouses dies, our marriage to Christ lasts for all eternity. Thus, it is of utmost importance for Christians that we do our best to be faithful to our baptismal promise to be in union with Christ and with His Church!
  • You see, my friends, when we are baptized and espoused to Christ, it is not enough to simply profess the Christian faith. Anyone can come into church on a Sunday morning and pray our Creed with us. We must also live out our Christian faith with rigorous integrity.
  • In a sense, our very lives must also pull back that veil separating Heaven and earth so that the glory of the Lord may be revealed through us to those around us! And that’s the beauty of the saints!
  • We love and venerate the saints of our Church because their very lives pull back the veil. Their lives show us the beauty of God’s love, glory and power.
  • Think for a moment of St. Vincent Ferrer, to whom the Church has attributed over 2500 miracles, or his fellow Dominican, St. Martin de Porres, whose profound humility and charity were famous throughout Latin America.
  • In more recent times we can look to Padre Pio, who not only bore our Lord’s wounds in the stigmata, but who also received incredible supernatural gifts such as bi-location and who was known to levitate while offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • And then, of course, there is Mother Teresa, who demonstrated the true love and compassion of Christ – especially for the poorest of the poor – like no one else in the 20th century.
  • These saints and every other saint the Church has ever canonized lived their baptismal promises with integrity. Each lived lives that revealed our Lord’s love, glory, and power. And we, the baptized, are called to do the same.
  • Just as ordinary water was changed into fine wine at Cana, we must allow our Lord’s grace to transform us into living images of Christ our Savior. But we don’t do this alone!
  • When we are baptized the Blessed Trinity comes to dwell within us; the Trinity comes to transform us, to make us into beautiful brides of Christ. As the first reading tells us, we are called to be “a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem.”
  • And our Lord remains within us as long as we stay in a state of grace and do not fall into mortal sin.
  • But even more than just living within us, our Lord wishes to work through us. As the second reading from 1st Corinthians tells us, the Holy Spirit gives to each of us various gifts, and these gifts are meant to benefit those around us – to help draw them to the Lord.
  • My dear friends, in addition to showing us a little more of our Lord’s glory, today’s readings call us to allow God to permeate every aspect of our lives. These readings call us to be faithful spouses of our Blessed Lord.
  • Thus, we must allow our Lord to permeate our thoughts, our prayers, our actions, even our disposition so that we can live our Christian faith not just with integrity, but with the joy, peace, goodness, kindness and gentleness that are the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
  • My friends, the prophet Isaiah tells us today that we shall be called God’s “delight.” Let us in turn learn to delight in our Lord so that every action of our lives may be a means of revealing His power and glory to the world.

© 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.

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