Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who Jesus is and is not: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 (CSS student Mass)

            There are a number of wrong perceptions of Jesus in our society that I would like to point out this evening.  First, Jesus is not dead.  Secularists see in Jesus a man who was a decent teacher and humanitarian but one who died centuries ago.  One philosopher—Friedrich Nietzche—even said, “God is dead.”  Yet we know that Jesus is not dead—he has risen and that is why we are all here tonight.  A bumper sticker captures this reality succinctly: “‘God is dead,’ Nietzche.  ‘Nietzche is dead,’ God.”
            Second, Jesus is not a wienie.  He was not and is not a pushover where “anything goes” so long as we love.  Jesus is the most powerful man of all time—not in the ESPN Strongest Man competition sense—but in the fullness of his humanity.  He expelled demons.  He combated enemies of true religion.  He healed, cured, forgave and taught with authority.  He even raised the dead to new life as we hear in our Gospel this evening.
            Third, Jesus is not some amorphous blob somewhere else in the universe.  He seeks each of us out at a personal level and yearns for you.  He becomes little for you to receive in the Word of God and the sacraments. 
            Finally, Jesus is not a loner.  While he wants a personal relationship with each of you, he is not satisfied with you alone.  He wants your peers, classmates, teammates, family and friends.  He wants this chapel to be packed on Tuesday and Sunday evenings.  He wants the lines to Confession to be so long we need more priests to hear them all.
            Trusting in the resurrected Jesus—the powerful Jesus—we thank him for loving us.  We pray for the grace to introduce him to others on campus and in our classrooms who do not yet know of his great love and mercy.

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