A HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “C” – 5/12/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Getting lost, is something that is getting harder and harder to do, all the time. People don’t get lost like they used. Today you don’t have to know how to use a compass, like you did when I was a boy scout. And you don’t have to have a map with you, of the area that you are lost in. Today we have Google maps on our phones and GPS systems in our cars, and trucks, and SUV’s. You don’t even hear about people getting lost today. Last week, I was talking with some of our Jr. High students about getting lost, and they thought, that as long as you had a mobile phone, as long as you could call Uber, as long as you had GPS, or even Google maps, that it was not possible to get lost in 2019. But I promise you, it still happens.
A few years ago, I got lost. I mean, really, truly, not having any idea where I was at, lost! I was on vacation, and I decided to a walk to a place that I had visited twenty-five years earlier. It was a beautiful August day. It was only five or six miles away. I had directions. I had been there before. I didn’t have my phone with me, but I would be fine. The day was a disaster. The directions were wrong. By the time that I finally stopped and asked someone for the right directions, I was already several miles off. By noon, I had calculated that I was now so far off track, so lost, that not only was I not going to be able to find my destination, but that I would barely have enough time to walk back to the town in which I was staying before sunset. I was walking in a completely unknown area, with very few folks around, and a car or truck would pass by about once an hour. I was lost. I was mad. I was terribly sunburned. I had drank the two bottles of water that I had brought with me for the trip by 9 AM. By 9:30 PM, I walked back into the hotel in the town that I was staying. I had walked over twenty-four miles that day, and never found the Franciscan orphanage that I was looking for. I promise you, you can get lost, even today.
Our readings today speak to us about being lost. In our first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, Paul and Barnabas tell the Jewish people of Antioch that they are lost. They haven’t listened. They have rejected the word of God. And now, the instructions on how not to be lost in the world, are going to be given to the Gentiles. God has made Paul and Barnabas a light to the Gentles, so that they too won’t get lost. This infuriates the Jewish people, who don’t realize how lost they are, so they take it out on Paul and Barnabas, and expel them from their town. Apparently, when we get lost and off track, we want everybody to be lost and off track. The Jewish people didn’t get it. And they miss out because of it!
In our second reading from Revelation, we hear of the glory of the ones who have listened, and followed. They are in Heaven. And they are rejoicing. And things are good. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. They will not hunger or thirst ever again. Instead, the Lamb, the One they followed and listened to, will lead them to springs of life-giving water, and everything will be very good, better than we can imagine. All we have to do to get there is to listen and follow the directions. We can join them. And it is going to be good!
And finally, it is the Gospel that makes this most clear. The Gospel of John says that Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” And for this, Jesus promises that His sheep, that’s code word for us, His Church, will have eternal life. Again, all we have to do is listen and follow, LISTEN and FOLLOW!
We’re not always the best listeners, and we’re not the best followers either. We must learn to be better! But really, who else in our world today are we going to listen to? Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, the internet, Madison Avenue, Joel Osteen, or Dr. Phil, really, are any of those organizations really going to get us home to Heaven? And who are we going to follow if not Jesus Christ? Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We can’t afford to get lost as we pass through this world. Life is too short. We’ve got to know where we are going, and Who we are listening to, and Who we are following!!! Let us follow Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, every day of our lives! We are going to want to be, where He is taking us!
+ God bless us on our journey to His Kingdom, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!