2cornucopias

Our Lord Is Counting On Us

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/05/19 at 12:00 AM
  • Today we hear the famous story of Moses and the burning bush in our first reading from the Book of Exodus.
  • In many churches throughout the world, especially in some of the great medieval cathedrals throughout Europe, you’ll find stained glass windows that couple an image of the burning bush with the scene of our Lady and the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation.
  • This is because the Fathers of the Church saw the burning bush as an Old Testament typology for the Annunciation.
  • Just as the burning bush contained the presence of God, yet was not consumed or burned up, so too did Mary, at the Annunciation, become filled with the presence of God, and yet was not consumed.
  • Mary was filled with God, but remained herself, just as the burning bush remained a bush – yet a bush afire with God’s presence.
  • In the same way, my brothers and sisters, we are called to be like Mary and to be like the burning bush that Moses encountered in the desert. We are to burn with God’s love. We are to be filled with the Word Made Flesh, to embody God’s presence within ourselves – yet remain ourselves. This is what it means to be a Christian.
  • In our Gospel today we’re told the importance of living this way. Christ tells us clearly and without ambiguity that we must repent, otherwise we will perish.
  • He doesn’t whitewash this truth or try to soften His words. Christ is very straight forward about this. Eternal salvation is at stake.
  • Christ also tells us the parable of the fig tree. The upshot of this parable is that we are called to bear fruit because God has cultivated us to do so.
  • We are cultivated by God through the sacraments so that we may be filled and burn with God’s presence. This is particularly true with the Most Blessed Sacrament.
  • As Catholics, we are given a very particular grace in being able to receive Holy Communion. It gives us an opportunity to come to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, to develop a certain intimacy with Him.
  • Even more than that, when we receive Holy Communion, we receive God’s presence within us – much like our Lady did at the Annunciation. But it is not only through Holy Communion that we receive God’s presence. He comes to us through all of the sacraments.
  • When we are baptized, the Lord takes up residence in our souls, and there He stays until we chase Him out with our grievous mortal sins. But His presence within us is restored through Reconciliation.
  • Indeed, in all of the sacraments we receive Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • But if we are to burn with the fire of God’s love, then prayer must also play an important partin our lives. It is through prayer that we come into daily contact with the Lord so that wemay be filled with His presence and burn with the fire of His love.
  • But in addition to prayer and the sacraments, we must try to be like Christ in every way sothat His mission on earth may be fulfilled. In particular, we must seek to exercise the virtueof charity if we wish to burn with God’s love.
  • My dear friends, Christ is counting on us. He’s counting on us to be His hands and feet.He’s counting on us to spread His Gospel. He’s counting on us to transform this dark world of ours. He’s counting on us to draw other souls to Him.
  • And one of the ways we do this is through the corporal works of mercy: clothing the naked, feeding the poor, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.
  • Each of these actions helps to spread the Gospel, draw others to Christ, and increase our personal holiness. When we do these actions in union with Christ and out of love for God and neighbor, then they become holy and sacred actions.
  • And each of these actions is something that we can participate in through the various Catholic ministries here in our diocese.
  • As many of you know, we are in the midst of our annual Diocesan Support Appeal. For those of you who are registered parishioners, you should have already received a letter in the mail.
  • The Diocesan Support Appeal is the annual fund-raising effort of the diocese. The money raised by this appeal is used to support 30 ministries and more than 50 programs throughout the diocese, such as educational, housing, adoption, counseling and multi-cultural programs – including Hispanic Ministry. This appeal also supports our seminarians studying for the priesthood.
  • Throughout the diocese thousands of people benefit each year from the services provided through the diocesan support appeal, including many people in our own parish.
  • The goal of the DSA this year is $4.3 million. Our parish goal is approximately $54,000. Any monies that we raise in excess of our goal will be refunded directly to the parish. If we don’t meet our goal, we have to make up the difference from our own budget.
  • As Catholics it is part of our responsibility to give generously to the Church, and this appeal is one of the ways that we do that.
  • Moreover, it is part of our Lenten duties as Catholics to give alms. The DSA is a perfect way to provide support to those who are needy in our diocese.
  • My hope is that we can all see the diocesan support appeal as an opportunity to step out in love and generosity. All of us have been blessed by God; all of us have been touched by Christ. Therefore, let us answer the call and respond with gratitude.

© 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

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