I have a problem in preparing my homilies each week. To be an effective communicator I need to speak at the level of my audience. But if the audience are at different levels of understanding, what do you do?
Once a reformed alcoholic promised to join me in helping others who suffer from the addiction. Making the best of the offer I referred a case to him. His response was that the new client is not broken enough to be helped.
Faith is everything, isn’t it? ‘Have faith in yourself, you can do it!’ In this expression, faith means confidence. But the Gospel of Matthew is speaking about a different kind of faith. It is not about self-confidence. Faith is the personal commitment to Jesus.
Cardinal Pell, though not considering his ordeal in the prison was the worst, said it was difficult. Then he told us that it is his faith that helped him endure his 13 months of lock up. There are many martyrs and near martyrs who endured terrible persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
In this time of COVID pandemic we as a community are concerned about the welfare of everyone. The ‘job seeker’, ‘job keeper’ programs and such other initiatives are helping many to have food on their tables which otherwise would not have been possible.
“I can’t breathe”, the last words of George Floyd, before he was allegedly crushed to death at his neck under the weight of a police officer, could be resounding in your ears.
Jesus did not start a church during his time on earth. The Church was born after his death, on the feast of Pentecost. John, in his Gospel, tells us that the birth of the Church was a new creation God carried out through his Spirit in the light of Jesus’ resurrection.
In the midst of the COVID uncertainties and restrictions, the joy of life could be dulled. We need the risen Lord with us these days. Therefore, it might look a bit odd to celebrate the departure of Jesus in this time. But Matthew tells us why we should celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The ascension of the Lord to Heaven (the departure of the Lord) is also the continued presence of the Lord on earth.
The thought of life after the corona pandemic is causing a lot of anxiety for many. The countries and regions which are much more badly affected than Australia are in the shadow of much more fear and anxiety than our local brothers and sisters. Yet anxiety is a terrible thing that can eat into the sense of security in life. In a worse case it can even question your sense of identity and purpose of life. Disciples of Jesus also had terrible anxiety, not because of corona virus, but because their Master and Teacher, Jesus, is gone.
Can you do anything greater than what Jesus did? Yes, you can do greater things, if you are a disciple of Jesus. When Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure from them, he told them, “I tell you solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.”