But you who do you say that I am?
This is one of the most fundamental questions a human being has to answer.
If we believe that Jesus was just a good man or pious legend
then how he lived and what he said doesn’t really matter.
If we like Peter profess that Jesus is the Messiah,
the very Son of God,
then our lives will never and can never be the same.
First of all we realize that this is not all there is…
This life, whatever challenges it presents, and everything that happens here is but a moment in eternity.
It’s all just a moment just a moment…
Second when we say Jesus is the Messiah or Jesus is Lord
we realize that our life has been given to us to give away.
It follows that we should spend our lives giving rather than receiving,
letting go rather that holding on.
That’s what Jesus did and that’s what we are called to do.
Third when we understand who Jesus really is then
God’s will and God’s law and God’s plan matter.
What written in the Bible matters, the age long tradition Church matters.
If we believe that Jesus is Lord then our lives have to be guided and directed by God’s Word and Gods’ truth every single day.
Finally if we believe that Jesus is Lord
If we can say that from the depths of our heart …
Then No matter where we find ourselves
No matter what happens
No matter how dark life seems,
there is always a light in the distance.
Even if is only a pin point of light
If we as imperfect as we are would not leave the ones we love in the darkness of despair.
How much more will God who loves us never leave us alone in the dark.
There will always that tiny glimmer of hope which orients us.
There is always a tiny light
which show us where we should put our next step
and guides us home.
I admit of late my eyes have grown strained looking that pin hole of hope.
You all know it someone said to me Fr. Robert the Bags under your eyes even have bags.
I admit it and that’s no surprise to you.
However, the other night sitting right over there in that pew I found that tiny light
in the Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ
If your eyes are strained looking for it I encourage you to come do the same.
Just come here and sit.
Sit as if you are in the presence of the person who has loves you the most in your life.
You can pour out your life or sit in silence
You can cry or smile…
Hope will come… I promise.
Some beautiful parents have written me and asked me not to communicate explicitly about our current situation at Mass.
They want to be able to communicate with their children as they see fit.
I am so grateful for your insight.
And I hope this homily and these words have not violated your wish.
Please know that you are in our hearts every day.
Fr. Raymond and I pray for you every day..
We’ve done so for a long time.
Our whole Franciscan Province is praying for this parish.
It’s rare that a morning or an evening should pass without receiving a text message an email or a call from one to the friars, our brothers promising prayers and thoughts.
We have a veritable army all over the country and world praying with us.
We are not alone. We are so far from being alone.
And Fr. Raymond and I are so grateful for and humbled by your prayers, love, concern, and your support… I can’t tell you how much it has meant and continues to mean to us.
Jesus said to them, "But you who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
The gates of our weakness shall not prevail
The gates of our sinfulness shall not prevail
The gates of our psychological problems and all the baggage we drag around shall not prevail.
The gates of our anger and bitterness and shame shall not prevail.
Nothing shall and nothing can prevail against God’s Love and the work of God’s Kingdom.
We have a beautiful school to get ready and there are children to educate
There is a huge Religious Ed Program to get up and running
By the way as always we need teachers so come on and jump in the trenches
our kids need us more than ever.
There are senior citizens who are lonely
The sick need the comfort of the sacraments and an ear willing to listen
There are Marriages to prepare for and weddings to celebrate
There is a ton food to collect so many depend on us for food.
There is a Parish Picnic to prepare, and Italian and Polish Nights to plan not to mention the Berlin Fair to get ready for.
We have baptisms galore coming up and we need to find ways to support our young families many work so hard are really tired.
The list goes on and on and on.
Dearest Friends of St. Paul Church
More than ever let us be about God’s work,
humbly, mercifully and lovingly.