Monday, April 13, 2015

Born again?: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, April 13th, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            Our brothers and sisters of other Christian denominations—especially in Evangelical circles—have coined the term born again.  I think we’ve all heard of this term, or of born again Christians before.  As Catholics we are not necessarily opposed to such a term, but for us being born again means something deeper.
            In the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, Jesus teaches, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’”  Nicodemus introduces our term as he replies, “How can a man once grown old be born again?”
            If we stop reading, we are left thinking we must be born again through a spiritual experience of faith and a conversion of heart.  But keep reading.  Jesus shows us there is more to being born again: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
            Jesus is pointing to here to the sacraments, particularly Baptism, and possibly Confirmation.  In both we receive the Spirit and we begin our journey of faith through the waters of Baptism.  We need both water and the Spirit!
            This Wednesday our high school students will be confirmed by Bishop Paul Sirba.  Our Mass to celebrate Confirmation will take place at 6:00pm and I hope you can all attend.  It’s a big event.  The Acts of the Apostles relates that, “As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
            I pray that our building will shake with the Spirit on Wednesday.  I pray that we may continue to speak God’s Word with boldness because we have truly been born again.

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