Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Homily Second Sunday of the Year 20 January 2008

Father Isaac Hecker…the founder of the Paulist Fathers…once said:
“The whole future of the human race
depends on bringing the individual soul
more completely and perfectly under the sway of the Holy Spirit.”

Father Hecker lived in the early 1800s.
Yet, his words are not bound to the moment in which they were spoken.
They mean a great deal to us today…
as we watch the world around us grown further from God
and more distant from the dominion of the Holy Spirit.

In a world of license and endless creativity for its own sake…
precious few souls are under the sway of the Holy Spirit.

In a world of selfishness…
the virtue of docility to the will of God has been forgotten.

[PAUSE]
As men and women who have been baptized into Christ's Body…
our lives have been given a radically new meaning from the rest of humanity.

We do not live for ourselves but for God and one another.

An essential element of our Christian life is surrendering ourselves to God’s will.

This means praying each morning and offering the day to God…
thanking Him in prayer each night for the blessings and lessons of the day…
making God a part every decision of our lives.

Instead of falling into frustration and despair…
because we can’t figure something out…
or because we can’t find the answer…
we ought to turn instead to the Lord…and away from ourselves… and pray for guidance from above.

If we do this…then life will become less about our disappointing selves…
and will become focused on the Lord,
whose perfect wisdom will never let us down.

Docility to the Holy Spirit also means surrendering our ideas and opinions
to the mind of the Church.
Even when we are convinced the Church needs to change her teaching…
to conform to what we think…
the true Catholic is docile to the Spirit, who guides the Church,
and says: “The Church knows better, and I shall cling to her.”

In everything, our lives should proclaim the refrain of our Responsorial Psalm…
“Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will!”

[PAUSE]


As the Prophet Isaiah teaches in today’s First Reading:
It is too little for us to be the Lord’s servants…
The Lord desires to make us lights to the nations.

It is not enough for us
to have this deep relationship of docility in the Lord’s presence the Lord…
and keep it to ourselves.

In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist testifies
that he has seen the Holy Spirit…right before him…descending upon Jesus.

Like John…we, too, are called to testify to the presence of the Holy Spirit…
wherever and whenever we recognize Him.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is alive in this parish!
He is alive…
in the hearts of every person who worthily receives Holy Communion… in every soul forgiven in Confession…
in every sick and suffering soul who receives love and peace from our hands.

The Spirit is alive in the hearts of the men and women
who are serving on our newly-formed Vocations Committee…
which met for the first time this past week.

The Spirit is alive in the devout parishioners
who pray before the Blessed Sacrament
in the chapel every Thursday evening.
It is because of their prayers…
that grace that the rest of us need to continue our mission in the Church…
flows in abundance.
He can be alive in your heart, too, if you give of your time and join them in prayer.

The Spirit is alive in the busload of your fellow parishioners
who will be travelling to Washington, D.C. tomorrow for the March for Life.

The so-called “pro-choice” movement…is one stark example
of how our society has drifted far from the sway of the Spirit.
Praying for an end to abortion…as well as euthanasia and the death penalty…
and witnessing publicly to the sanctity of human life
is one critical way we can witness to the Spirit
and bring souls once again closer to God.

The culture of death must end now…and no one but you can make that happen.
If we still have to go next year, we’re taking two busses to Washington.
I’ll be counting on you to fill them.

We testify to the Spirit whenever we teach others about the Faith.
We testify to the Spirit whenever we live lives of holiness and virtue.
We testify to the Spirit whenever we reach out to others in need.
The world needs you…now…
to be a voice for the innocent ones who suffer
to testify to the Spirit’s presence, and His truth
and to bring every soul under the sway of the Spirit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Father,
I love reading your homilies because they always provide me with so much insight I can apply to my own life. Thank you for your posts, and thank you also for your dedication to the church, both are greatly appreciated!
- The girl with the orange purse