Friday, December 12, 2014
A wake up call: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, December 11th, 2014
(Listen to this homily here).
We had a wake-up call sort of verse from Isaiah this morning: “Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD…”
We Catholics hold two realities in tension. The first—we are made in God’s image and likeness and thus have intrinsic dignity and great worth. The second—we are more like the maggots and worms than we are like God!
Verses like these cut pride off at the pass. They remind us that we are not in control, that we are not essential, that we are not God! Our patron St. Thomas Aquinas made a distinction between contingent beings and the necessary Being. Everything that exists (besides God) did not have to exist. God’s presence, though is necessary—without Him nothing else exists.
The world got along for billions of years without my presence or yours. The world didn’t start spinning in 1983 when I was born and I suspect that it will keep turning the day after I die!
A similar fact is true with our parish. I just read our parish history and learned just how many priests served here before I came. There will be many more after I leave. Everything we have is thanks to parishioners who came and went before you and I arrived.
These realities are good to consider because they keep us humble. In parish life, they help us avoid becoming overly attached to one priest or movement, and help us be docile to change. After all, our Church is led by Jesus Christ and His Spirit blows where it will!
One last thought—it amazes me that God sent His son to die for the worms and maggots!