Feb 28, 2016

A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT  –  CYCLE “C”  –  2/28/16  –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!  Peace and goodness to you this day!

When we think about it, almost all of us have had some experience of the Divine.  There are those very specific moments where each and every one of us have had experienced God in some way in our lives.  Maybe it was a retreat experience.  Or maybe it was a pilgrimage.  Or maybe it was a favorite class or a movie.  Maybe it was a class or Parish Mission.  Maybe it was RCIA, or Cursillo, or Christ Renews His Parish.   Maybe it was a song, or working at a food pantry, or the birth of a child, or the Baptism of a child, or a funeral.  Maybe it was a priest, or a teacher, or a Sister or a Brother, or a homily.  The possibilities are endless!  God can use any number of ways of reaching into our lives.  We call these moments, “God moments”.   They lead us to Faith.  They are experiences of the Holy Spirit.  And while we all have hopefully had some God moments in our lives, I suppose that it is also true that we would all like to have more of them.

Today, in our First Reading, we hear about one of the most famous God moments of all-time.  It is God speaking to and calling Moses in the burning bush.  We’ve read this story many times.  And we’ve seen this story depicted for us, on the big screen, in the movie The Ten Commandments, with Charlton Heston.  Maybe we wish that we had a God moment like that one.  If only we had a burning bush speak to us, then I could believe more!

The truth is that many of our God moments are so much better than a burning bush!  The burning bush was what Moses needed to listen to God and to believe in God.  What each one of us needs, our God moments, are varied.  God reaches into each one of our lives and tries to get our attention.  Sometimes, our God moments are even brought to us, out of tragedies, out of our crosses.   In our Gospel today, Jesus mentions two terrible tragedies that apparently were well-known in His time:  the Galileans who were killed by Pilate and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices, and these eighteen people who were killed when a tower fell on them at Siloam.  These are tragedies.  These are sad stories, even Jesus seems to be mourning for those who have died.  And yet from Jesus’ perspective, isn’t death the ultimate God moment?  And haven’t many of us also experienced God and His power at the death of our loved ones?

God is all around us and He is still as active as ever!  We can never allow ourselves to think that all of the God moments of our life, have passed us by.  We must never grumble like an unbeliever.  Instead, we need to seek out those powerful moments of God’s love coming into our lives every day.  The more Faith we have, the more God moments that we are going to see!  We have to pay attention and care for our Faith.  Perhaps, just like the fig tree in our Gospel today,  we need to till the soil of our lives and fertilize around the fig tree, in the sure and certain hope that with Faith it will produce abundant fruit, and we will see many more God moments in our lives!

Lent, of course, is also our time of paying attention and noticing just how active God is in our world and in our lives today!  Sometimes we must be the fertilizer in the lives of others, that help them to greater Faith.  You know, we think of the people who have fed and nourished our Faith… our parents, our grandparents, our Godparents, our teachers, the various priests, and sisters, and deacons, and brothers, the catechists, the coaches and scout leaders and youth ministers!  So many folks have been God moments for each one of us!  How can we not do that for others today?  How can we not lead them to Christ?  How can we not create those God moments for them in their lives?

My brothers and sisters, let us be open to the many and varied ways that God wants to work in and through us!  And let us do this so that others might experience God’s love for them in and through our actions!

+  May God bless us today,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                 AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                     Pray for us !!!