Here is my homily for this weekend. God bless you all!
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
June 18/19, 2016
Zech 12: 10-11; 13:1; Gal 3: 26-29; Lk 9: 18-24
To whom do you turn when you are thirsting for peace and unity?
The world is a troubled world. There is so little peace in the world, much violence, war, death. We all recall with sadness the ISIS shootings in Orlando this week. The world promises peace but seems to deliver the opposite. It says it desires peace and unity, but seems to bring division and war. Indeed, many have lost their faith in a merciful God because of this.
To whom can we turn in our thirst for peace and unity? To whom can we turn when those we have trusted have failed to deliver and seem unable to provide us the peace we need? Or should we just give up our faith and live without hope of things getting better?
What is it that will ultimately unite us all? Only love, God’s love! The love of God the Father. Not simply human affection or fondness, for these are
very fragile and do not long unite; no, it is the Father’s love that over and over again offers us mercy and forgiveness, and asks us to have faith in his mercy. Jesus tells us that we have a common Father who loves us. Indeed, the Father’s love keeps us alive, our hearts beating. We are told by Jesus himself that the Father’s heart is so sensitive and loving that He knows our every moment, our every experience, our every setback and defeat, success and challenge. The Father’s heart is revealed in the heart of his Son Jesus, whose Sacred Heart was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins. The Sacred Heart of Jesus reveals to us the heart of our common Father who alone will unite us and give us peace. The heart of Jesus is the heart of the Father who pours out on us his infinite love and mercy.
The heart of Jesus reveals to us the heart of the Father and it was pierced. Blood and water flowed from the heart of Christ on the Cross, signs of mercy, signs of unity, signs of the Church.
We are told in the Scriptures today that the Spirit of God is released into the world, the love of God is poured out through the piercing of the Heart of the Son. Mercy is given to all, a love that ultimately will unite us and bring us peace.
But we must have faith! We must believe in the Father’s love if we are to recognize God’s merciful heart beating in this world. Without faith, we won’t see it. We must hold fast to our faith.
We all thirst for the same mercy. We all look for the same love. We all have the same Father. We all are offered the same gift of eternal life, the very gift we all so desperately need and for which we thirst.
Do not let your thirst go unsatisfied! Drink from the fountain of mercy. Don’t look for things in this world that may promise satisfaction but only bring more thirst! It is in loving as the Father loves that we will find what we are looking for. It is in being merciful to others that we will find what we are looking for, the mercy and peace we want. Jesus taught us this.
Today is Father’s Day. On Father’s Day, we fathers can ask ourselves whether we have led our families with the Heart of the Merciful Father or not.We who are fathers know both the joys and the sufferings in being the father of children. Do we show our families the Heart of the Father? A heart of mercy and forgiveness, a heart that suffers for our children? Not a heart that offers false hope by excusing the wrong, but rather a heart that forgives the wrong, a heart that brings not division but unity and peace within our families?
The vocation of fatherhood is indeed a noble one, for we are to be men who know mercy and then give it to our wives and children, men who have come to know the love of the Father and can show it in the way we love our families.
Every father is also a son. We can only show a father’s love if we ourselves have seen it in our own fathers. For those of us who had an absent father, or a father whose heart was cold and hard, we have to all the more turn to our heavenly Father and see there what we have always needed and sought so we can imitate it and share it with our children.
What will ultimately unite us? What will bring about peace in our troubled violent world? In the end, only one thing: the loving merciful Heart of the Father revealed to us in the Sacred Heart of Jesus his Son. God’s love will unite us and bring us peace. The sooner we learn this, the faster we will be at peace and in unity with each other. But to see such love in our world, to recognize the mercy of the Father, we must believe, for faith opens our eyes to see the very Heart of God.