Homily for July 25, 2010

Dear Parishioners,

            In a conversation I had with someone, the topic came up that the Church doesn’t communicate the fact that God is a living Father.  I reacted to this saying that the Mass is a revelation of the Father’s love, that all the prayers at the Mass are directed to the Father in the name of the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I have to admit, however, that sometimes we, including myself, are not really awake to the great love that God has for us and his desire to restore union with us.

            When our Lord teaches us to pray, he points this out to the disciples: “say, Our Father…” when you pray.  It is this relationship that our Lord models for us.  It is this relationship that Abraham begins to perceive, once God has revealed his plans to him in such a direct way.  This revelation of the Father’s love gives Abraham the courage to speak, to intercede with God, to actually ask God to change his plans.  Such is the power that God gives us in prayer.

            That Abraham is able to talk with God so directly hints at the fact that God is about restoring humanity’s relationship with God as it was before the Fall, when Adam sinned in his disobedience, his lack of trust in God as a loving Father, believing the devil’s lies that God was trying to preserve his own power over the growth and empowerment of his children.

            This relationship is restored now because of what Christ as done for us through his death and resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Gift of the Holy Spirit to those who believe in his name.  As it says in Scripture: “But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” (John 1:12)  Paul reminds us in today’s second reading from Colossians: “…he brought you to life along with him having forgiven us all our transgressions…” (Col 2:13).

            Our daily prayer, then, our daily conversation with God as our Father is a proof of our faith and love.  It is a proof of our desire to see the face of Christ and to imitate him who taught us to say, “Our Father.”  As the catechism says:

            “The acts of faith, hope, and charity enjoined by the first commandment are accomplished in prayer.  Lifting up the mind toward God is an expression of our adoration of God: prayer of praise and thanksgiving, intercession and petition.  Prayer is an indispensible condition for being able to obey God’s commandments.  “We ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Lk. 18:1).  CCC.2098

                                                                                                          Peace, 
                                                                                                       Father Mike 
                                                                                        SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

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