Homily 3-22-20

“We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.” This seems quite obscure. What is Jesus saying? “We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.”

We only get one life. Only one chance at life. This is the daytime, while we are alive, when we can work. When night comes, when we die. No more time to work. At that time, everything will be measured.

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.

This time is not wasted. These days are given to us as the works of the one who sent Jesus. God the Father.

It can be tempting to think of this time, at home, away from work, away from school as just dead time. “Let’s just get through this so that we can get back to work, to life.” But to look at things that way would be to see as man sees, but not as God sees. I as a priest am tempted to look at it that way. “Let’s get through this, so that I can be with all of you again offering the Sacrifice of the Mass together in the Church.” But to do so would be to miss a great opportunity. We are tempted to think that my purpose is to go out and make things better. I am tempted to think my purpose is to go around and change things for the better. And therefore, when I am cooped up in my house, I can't do that. I am wasting time. And there is something to that, that we are to be light of the world and salt of the earth. We are to do good works. BUT, even more fundamental than changing things out there, I myself am to be changed. Everything that comes our way, every opportunity isn't for me to make something better, it's primarily about making me better.

St. Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.”

Yes, we do things, we do good works, but it’s so that God’s grace can transform us into another Christ. Into Christ himself. By doing these loving things, we are actually transformed into loving people.

Therefore, nothing is wasted. Everything matters. How will I allow this period of time to transform me? How will I allow this day to make me a better person? How will this struggle, difficulty, frustration, this seemingly worthless event make me holier?

These are the questions we need to ask ourselves during this time. I know it isn't sexy, it isn't as glamourous, but it's redemptive. This is the attitude that a Christian, a Catholic is supposed to have at a time like this.

We may even have objectively more sacrificial penances we want to do. We may have desires to do great things in the world, help many people, save the world. But those aren't nearly as meritorious, as redemptive as humbly accepting God' will. It is more redemptive and fruitful to conform our will to God's will even if we think our will was more selfless and penitential.

Difference between a NGO and a Christian...

St. Teresa of Calcutta...

God doesn’t call us to be successful. He only calls us to be faithful.

St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Why do we shrink from interior mortification of our ego, our will, what we would want to do and seek out the mortifications we would prefer? As long as mortification does not strike at our pride, it remains at the halfway mark and never reaches it’s goal.” It would be absurd to refuse a single one of those providential opportunities for suffering and to look for voluntary mortifications of our own choice.

These are the works of the One who sent Jesus. This is what God asks of your today. To do these things, to bear these difficulties.

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. We can’t waste the time God has given us here on earth to become saints. This time is not wasted. It won’t be wasted unless you allow it to.

So two suggestions while we are cooped up at home. One is to take time daily as a family to discuss how things are going. To give each person a time to share a blessing from the day, and a challenge. It's important for everyone to take a big picture view of things. How are we doing as a family during this time? What could we do better?

Two, is to make sure to do things together. For sure pray together. Play together, board games, card games especially. Cook or bake together. Also, do chores together. I think this is a great time to teach kids the good habit of chores and helping around the house. Because I think they may even get bored of youtube videos or video games. I think they will want to do something else, something even like chores. This is a great time to say, “Hey guys, this is only gonna work if we all put in a good effort here.”

My mom taught me how to wipe off a table or counter top.

I was taught how to clean a toilet.

My friends, these circumstances are not pleasant. They stink. Most of all being deprived of the Mass and Holy Communion, my heart breaks for you all. I have an increases sense during the Mass that I am standing as your representative before God the Father. Acting in the person of Christ, representing all of you and your prayers and offerings. But God only allows that which is for our sanctification, for our becoming saints. We can dread this time, just try to get through it. We can waste it. Or we can allow it to continually transform us into saints. Nothing is wasted. Every person, every event, every moment is something that allows to come my way to purify me and transform me...if I allow it to.

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.

Comments

  • Valentini RobertPosted on 3/31/20

    A tremendous message that hopeful doesn’t just get glossed over and thought of as just a good homily. There is a lot of power in what Father Nick is saying and what God is trying to say to us. I know I have not lived up to some of his words and will keep praying to change for the better. Thanks Father and God bless us all