WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Jesus our Peace amidst Trial
Perfect love casts out all fear
Courage! It is I. Do not be afraid!
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Most likely, even if good people stand up against the error of attempting to redefine the one-man, one-woman, covenanted union of marriage, those in power will proceed down this dark and twisted path.
It is terrifying. It is something that can rock your world.
To know that those in power have shifted from being amoral, that is, not having any morals, to aggressively and systematically attacking the divine institution of marriage that is inscribed on the human heart and felt as one of the demands of human love - this is something which is like a turbulent storm in human history.
What will happen next? Are they going to dust off the guillotine, and start beheading faithful and priests who oppose this? It may not be too terribly unlikely.
Like the disciples in the Gospel for today, in which the boat was rocked by the stormy sea, we wait for The Lord to show up.
"If you're out there God, show me! Can you just give me some sign that you're real, that you're listening to me?"
Who hasn't, at some point amidst the trials and sufferings of this life, spoken these words to God asking for some kind of Epiphany, or revelation, of the Lord's presence and power?
This week after the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord in the Church's year is a kind of revelation week, in which we contemplate the manifestations of God to us. Last week we were still basking in the glow of the newborn infant and this week it as if we are asking like the popular Christmas song, "What child is this?" Who is this little baby, before even the kings of the earth fall prostrate?
Every day in the mass readings there is a gift that shows who this Infant God is.
Today we discover him as our peace amidst trial. In the Gospel for today he comes walking toward us atop the stormy seas, defying nature and we hear his voice first reach out to us and calm us down and then quiet the storm.
Does his presence in our lives not defy our stormy human nature, giving us peace through trials that ought naturally obstruct calm? Yet not as the world gives does Emmanuel give peace.
He IS love itself, as the first reading says. Can love himself stop loving us? It is not possible for him to cease loving us because he is pure love. The discovery of this kind of love that is not based on human nature, whether stormy or calm, but founded in the eternal and rock solid Being of almighty God, is what gives a Catholic true moral courage.
Divine love is the only real basis for this courage. It is what casts out all fear and gives a person the resolve to stand up for moral truth, "though an army encamp against me, I will not fear even the terror of death, for The Lord God is my rampart and shield"!
More and more, the Catholic faithful need this encounter with divine love. Where does it happen? In the Most Holy Eucharist, divine Love himself touches us - as if he grabs our hand, lets us feel his rock solid hand on our shoulder, or simply stands us with us through trial. We need his Eucharistic encouragement intensely and frequently.
Why then stay away from he who casts out all fear. Run to the Eucharistic Jesus! Permit him to strengthen and calm you.
May Our Lady, Queen of peace, whose lap was a gentle throne for the divine Infant who is our peace, obtain from him true and serene courage.
Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, is a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and is currently based in Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom. He is a speaks to groups around the world on Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Peace, homily, Year of Faith, Holy Eucharist, inward struggle, marriage
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