Homily: Jesus Is Greater than He Appears to Be and So Are We
Prophets are interesting people. The Lord gives them information and tells them to share it with the people to change their ways otherwise disaster will happen. One question that appears is does the disaster happen because this is God’s way of punishing his people or is he warning them that because they are not listening to them they will encounter disaster because his way has no disaster.
However, the basic information is rooted in knowing more information and acting on it.
This week was an eventful one domestically. There were three major shootings one in New York, one in Orange County, California and one in Texas. We can look at them in light of today’s Gospel reading.
What does Jesus say in the Gospel? If we could sum it up in one sentence it is that the Apostles have yet to see Jesus as he truly is and as they truly are. There is more to whom they are than we can understand on our own. Jesus is about to enter into his glory through the Cross and then onto his throne of glory.
This tells us there is more to Jesus than we can see and Jesus explains that there is more to us than we can see.
So when we listen to Jesus we are working through greater knowledge than we can obtain on our own.
What is it that we need to know? That God is love and calls us to be his agents of love.
What happens when we ignore this, as the prophets warned, disaster happens.
We saw three major shootings one we are still learning more and more about and the other was by an allegedly self-described white supremacist. What do these two persons have in common besides their crimes? They learned to hate. Jesus warned that anger is a form of murder. That does not mean that we cannot get angry but as St. Paul says let your anger be without sin. Too often we preach as sins a small group of what we call immoral actions but any act that is the opposite of the command to love of God and neighbor is a sin. Anytime we act in hate or we promote an act of hate, we sin.
How many people will tell you bullying in all its forms is a grave sin. It is a hateful sin and the fruits of it are obvious. Now, we do not hold the bullied person who goes off on a rampage as the victim and therefore innocent. However, we do realize that all forms of bullying are grave sins because they are acts of hate that kill the soul of their victims who then make victims of others. Most do not become shooters some choose to end their own lives by suicide.
If you bully or turn a blind eye to it, you have sinned.
Another form of bullying is any form of racial supremacy. No one race is superior to another neither is any race inferior to another. There used to be a talk station in this city where the host once said how tragic it is that the blacks and Hispanics will grow in number over the whites. I was so angered by those words. I never listened to the station again and it is no longer on the air.
The talk show host was later fired for admitting an indiscretion with an intern. He was not fired for saying such a vile thing. Both actions were sins but only one was a fireable offense.
However, Jesus warns that our misplaced anger is deadly. This is precisely what we see here.
Many over the past twenty years have done all they can to silence our Church. Why? Because of our stand on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Cardinal Sarah explains this is the result of the first temptation “you will be like gods.” So these industries are seeking to rebuild the human being by human standards, not God’s standards.
Remember what Jesus teaches today, there is more to him than we can see and there is more to us than we can see. We don’t walk down those paths of human vision because we do not want to embrace an ersatz version of the human being. Billionaires are working to create eternal life here. We are testifying to a greater form of existence than what we can see of ourselves through seeking after the Lord in all his glory. We don’t settle for a human vision we seek the divine vision that is our mission.
That is why we do what we do. This is about us going out and preaching a deeper understanding of who we truly are as humans than all the science in the world can discover without rejecting all the science in the world. When we remain silent this vision is silenced too.
Some time ago, I had an interesting experience where someone gave another one of those items designed to communicate with the dead which is forbidden in the bible. I right away reacted against it. I went home where I lived with an exorcist and asked him if I was overreaching. He said “No” and do all you can to get it away from the person. So I did and then had to explain those kinds of things we see in horror movies about the devil are real, we don’t like to talk about them.
Some will say such objects are doorways to the demonic. The exorcist explained they are not doorways that are in direct contact.
However, if such a device is direct contact with the demonic which is an earthbound force, what is prayer? Is not prayer an even greater example of direct contact with the divine and the celestial beings?
God is not a good god, he is the source of all goodness. He does not just speak the truth, he is truth itself. He is not loving, he is love itself. This is with whom we have contact in our daily prayer which gives us a deeper understanding of who we are. This is why we seek to avoid sin because sin distracts us and leads us to all that God calls us to be.
When we do not live that call, we can see what happens.
Sin leads to death in more ways than one and the way we avoid sin is to avoid that which leads to rejecting love in all its forms in ourselves and others.