God is not always practical. His plans are not always pragmatic. Sometimes, perhaps often, God’s plans are incredible, that is, difficult to believe. We are called to love enemies and persecutors. We are called to help the poor, the refugee, the migrant. It is in giving that we receive.
Rev. Brother and Deacon Christopher Johnson, O.P., has always admired Abraham. It took immense faith and courage to leave behind everything he knew to trust in God’s promise. It took even greater faith to offer up his greatest treasure, his very son, to God. Yet when called, Abraham answered. In the same way the saint today, St. Francis Paola, answered the call to leave behind the comfortable religious life he had found in Italy for the more difficult job of teaching the nobles and royalty of France about humility and charity.
Today it struck me in hearing the readings that perhaps the woman caught in the act of adultery may not have actually been caught in the act of adultery. Could it be that she, like Susanna in the first reading, was falsely accused? Was that what Jesus saw in those accusing her, the same evil intent of the men in the first reading?
Throughout these readings, God is portrayed as a peaceful savior of his people. Not once does he attack anyone or force anything.
Another reflection from my good friend, Msgr. Richard Lavalley, pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Winooski, Vermont.
Fr. Simon Felix Michalski, O.P., calls our attention to the fact that Jesus knew He would die if He went up to Jerusalem, and yet He went anyway. Why did He go? He went for love of us. Fr. Simon Felix reminds us of this, and then reminds us that we are all called to follow in His footsteps; to be willing to lay down our lives for love of others.
“I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east.” Water and the Temple. This line from the prophet Ezekiel is an interesting one. When have we seen, in the gospels, water flowing out of the Temple? It is when Jesus has died, and a lance is thrust through Jesus. Blood and Water flows from his side.
“Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth.” These words from the prophet Isaiah seem so necessary right now. All the words of Sacred Scripture seem so different in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Don’t we need a new heavens and a new earth so desperately these days?
Sometimes our lives seem like they are moving so fast that everything is new and we are losing things of importance. Other times the new things we encounter can seem exciting and refreshing. How is it we strike a balance between losing our sense of tradition, those things that ground us, while at the same time not becoming stale.
Today’s homily is given by Father Scott O’Brien, the student master for St. Dominic Priory in Saint Louis, Missouri.. I was a novice when the news first broke about the spread of HIV/AIDS; that was 35 years ago now. Some things were known about it at the time, like how it might be contracted but little else.