Homily – May 24, 2020

VII Sunday of Easter
Year A

I want to begin this morning first by saying – Welcome back!! I cannot begin to tell you how overjoyed I am to see you here!! I also wanted to take this opportunity to issue a heartfelt apology. The reason is this – during this time of pandemic, it seems to me that Church, as an institution failed you. During this most difficult time in history, when people – you – need the Church the most in your lives, we closed our doors. I am truly embarrassed by that fact, and I am sorry. Now, this does not mean that individual priests around the country did not do some really great things – some priests went above and beyond… Quarantine wasn’t all bad… Families came together, we began to think a little more seriously about our lives – what we can live with and without – and perhaps a little more seriously about our relationship with God.

St. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, tells us that disciples, while waiting for Pentecost, went to the upper room where they were staying and devoted themselves to prayer … In other words, while waiting for this precious gift … perhaps not knowing what exactly Jesus had in store for them … and out of fear for their lives … they were in quarantine – praying. They isolated themselves but during that time … 9 days we are told by tradition, giving us the template of a 9 day novena … they prayed and prepared themselves to receive this great gift of the Spirit. They prayed and prepared … they wanted to be ready to receive what the Lord had in store for them. They wanted their minds and hearts to be in the right place for when He comes…

Can you see the parallel here? Are we ready to receive Him again? Have we spent time during these past several weeks of quarantine, stay at home orders, preparing to return to church, to receive Holy Communion? Are we ready, interiorly, to receive Him again? I don’t mean to sound like we’re not ready because as I am sure many of have been itching to get back to Mass and regular Sunday worship … and believe me, I could not be happier to see you !! Yet, I think there is something to be said for this occasion… God has given us an opportunity to reflect on our understanding of the Eucharist – that this IS indeed, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord … that we do not have the RIGHT to receive but rather it is a GIFT … the gift of His life poured directly into us … As such, we must be ready. We must have the right frame of mind, heart and soul … and therefore, one might consider – ought I go to confession now before I begin to receive again? The reason I say that is because God has given us an opportunity to reboot our spiritual lives, to wipe the slate clean and start fresh … Certainly we have considered extensively other areas of our lives that perhaps have given us a fresh perspective … what about our faith? This is an opportunity we ought not let pass us by … to receive the gift of God’s mercy and then receive Holy Communion will strongly impact how we move forward in faith… It is not something to be scared of … faith assures us that our God only desires that He come to life in us …

The apostles spent time praying, preparing … they wanted to be ready … lets do the same … lets be ready to move forward with a fresh perspective on our faith … in such a way that allows for a reboot and a renewal in our hearts towards a more profound and deeper friendship with God.

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