Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unity through common mission: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

(Listen to this homily here.)

            I’ve mentioned before that I am grateful for the rectory in which I get to live.  The space itself, coupled with a beautiful lawn and the woods make it a peaceful place.  My favorite feature of my home, though, is that I have a chapel with the Eucharist.
            Every night since moving here I have prayed my Holy Hour at the close of the day.  I first pray for you.  I was struck by St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as he writes, in a more eloquent way than I, the basic prayer I offer for our parishioners, students, school, faculty and staff: “Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
            In our Gospel we hear a famous in striking line from Jesus: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”  To be clear, Jesus is not endorsing all division.  Some division is good—separating ourselves from sin and evil, living as a new man rather than the old (as St. Paul frequently encourages) and remaining free from a society of relativism where anything goes.
            Other division is bad, and I have observed division in our parish’s history and current life.  Consider what happened when the remodeling was done ten years ago—many people took sides and fractured our parish.  While most of our parishioners are sources of unity, there turf wars, gossip and backbiting still remain.  Sadly, some resort to these means to carve out their own agenda and space.  This is not a good division and it needs to stop!  And the way it does is for us all to focus on the breadth, length, height and depth of Jesus’ love.  When our mission is to live in this love, unity is fostered.
            I firmly believe our daily Mass crowd is the heart and soul of our parish.  You are the witnesses to God’s immense love and set the pace for remaining on point with our mission to love God, our neighbor and make disciples.
            May we live in the love of Christ to live in a common mission to end all division here.

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