Saturday, May 21, 2011

5th Sunday of Easter: Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me?": Catechesis is a lifelong process of knowing and loving the Lord Jesus

As many of you know the world was supposed to end today. It did not make much sense to put a lot of effort into a homily if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was going to be present to preach in person. But I did manage to throw something together since the world and we are still here and a false been prophet has once again been exposed.

The Lord is always with us. He gives Himself as an inexhaustible source of Faith and life, particularly here in the sacred liturgy through Word and sacrament. And He is here for us whether or not we are here for Him.

Sometimes those who have been with the Lord the longest, such as Philip in today's Gospel, seem to be the ones who know Him the least. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. To know Jesus Christ, to be with Him, is already to know the Father, to know heaven where God has prepared a place for us. Sometimes, though, we like Philip betray a lack of knowledge of the One who gives Himself so abundantly in the Eucharist, the Scriptures and in the teaching of the Church and who is for us the way to abundant and eternal life. Though He is always so radically and generously available to us we sometimes find ourselves in the same situation as did Philip. The Lord could also rightly turn to us therefore and also say to us, "Have you been with me all this time and still you do not know me?"

Gladly none of us would say we do not love God. We are here because we seek Him and we seek Him because we love Him and this is right and good. Perseverance in seeking the Lord is itself evidence of a loving faith. But even beyond the Sunday liturgy we are called to take the steps necessary to grow in our Faith.

Have you ever met someone who no longer practices the Catholic Faith and who says, "Well, I was raised a Catholic" as if that status has exhausted all the possibilities for them of truth and life and love in God? There is often a presumption that however the Faith has been tried in the past there is no possibility that the Faith could ever hold any value or deeper truth or power for living in the future.

GK Chesterton once said, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." If our Catholic faith is the grace which gives us access to living the Christian ideal, to growing in the love of and in the image of Christ, could not the same be said of growth in the love of and knowledge of the content of our Faith? We could therefore also say, "The Catholic Faith has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

For the full text of the homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy by clicking here.

1 comment:

thomasthurman.org said...

Though He is always so radically and generously available to us we sometimes find ourselves in the same situation as did Philip. The Lord could also rightly turn to us therefore and also say to us, "Have you been with me all this time and still you do not know me?"

Thank you: I had never thought of this application of the verse, but I see its relevance in my own life.

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