I’ve lived here for twelve years,
in the beautiful shadow of the Shrine,
½ a mile from the Franciscan Monastery,
and about 7 miles from my secret place on the Potomac.
I have prayed in all of these places,
and to be honest I have even cried in all of these places.
And from time to time I have felt God’s presence,
God‘s real presence, in all of these places.
It’s a wonderful thing to feel God’s presence
But my most special memories and my most special place is in simple old, hot in the summer / cold in the winter Caldwell Chapel.
That’s where I go when I need to experience the presence of God in my life.
That’s where I seem to be able to let Him in to my heart and mind.
That’s where I seem to be able to listen to His voice.
I always kneel in the same place before the Blessed Sacrament and I look at the widow over the altar.
I call it the Mary window but in reality it is depicts Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles.
Sadly, There are only eleven Apostles there because one gave up one and lost heart. Please never lose heart.
Two things happened at Pentecost.
At Pentecost we became the Church
and as the Church we were given the tremendous task of proclaiming the Kingdom and bringing the world to Christ.
After the Ascension Jesus no longer walked the face of the earth.
the proclamation of the Kingdom,
now belong to us.
They belong to us individually and
they belong to us as the Church,
a bunch of sinners and saints
The second thing that happened was that we were promised and received the Advocate, the very Spirit of God.
After Pentecost we know that we are never alone.
We know that the Spirit of God is with us to guide us,
and empower us in our awesome task of bringing the world home to God,
If we remain attentive to Him and His presence we can’t go wrong.
So often I hear…Father “I feel alone,
I don’t see or feel the presence of God in my life.”
Sometimes I feel that way myself.
Holy Ones the presence of God is not like a water spigot,
One can’t just turn Him on when life gets tough
and turn Him off when things are going well.
We do that with so many things and so many people in our lives.
We can’t do that with God.
If we want to feel the presence of God in our lives we need to train ourselves to seek him out and listen to Him.
The Spirit is always present but we need to learn how to shut off all the noise and distraction and vices which keep us from hearing him.
We need to kneel in the presence of God
be it in the chapel,
or next to our bed, before we go to sleep.
Kneeling reminds us who we are and who God is.
No holy ones we are never alone we can’t be alone.
If we open our hearts to God’s Spirit,
we will have the wisdom to see his presence in our lives.
We will understand what it means or takes to follow Christ.
We will have the benefit of good counsel to know what is right and what it wrong.
We will have the fortitude or courage to stand up for what we believe in and not give up on God, on others or on ourselves.
We will have the knowledge to know which road leads us home.
The Holy Spirit can always help us pick the right road.
If we open our hearts to the Him.
We will have piety or the ability to reverence God and reverence each and every person created in the image and likeness of God.
If we open our hearts to the Spirit we will have a just and holy Fear of the Lord, not in the sense of being afraid,
but rather we will have a feeling of wonder and awe at the mighty works of God’s hand.
What a different world it would be if we always remembered with awe and wonder that everything we have comes from God.
What a different world it would be if we always remembered that every human being deserves our reverence and respect.
What a different world it would be if we allowed the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives.
One more word on the Gospel
Jesus makes a special point in the Gospel of John to remind us that along with coming of the Spirit comes the gift of forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to be able to forgive and be forgiven.
”Receive the Holy Spirit whose sins you forgive are forgiven them whose sins you hold bound are held bound.”
With those words spoken to the Apostles,
Jesus gives this awesome responsibility and privilege to the Church,
a church which has always had need of forgiveness itself.
It is one of the most important and fundamental things we are called to do.
Forgiveness is essential for a follower of Christ.
We have to seek forgiveness,
By giving the Apostles and their descendants the power to forgive sins,
He allows us to experience the joy of Forgiveness
He challenges us all to forgive each other.
We’ve all been hurt and
The people who have hurt us have been hurt
and they people who hurt them have been hurt.
Only the spirit of God can give us the power to break the cycle and forgive.
May we kneel often in the presence of God.
May we all try to find that special place where we are able to let God in.
May we open our hearts and minds to accept the gifts the spirit of God so longs to give us.
May we individually and as a church be heralds of forgiveness and mercy.
Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit
Help us open our hearts to you.
Watch! A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent
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