Monday, January 22, 2007

Deacon Mike's homily from Sunday

Maybe you folks didn’t hear me. I said that today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in you hearing. I imagine that Jesus pretty much got the same reaction when he said it in Nazareth. This assembly, in Silver Spring, the men and women and children who were old enough to understand, is looking at me just as the one in Nazareth looked at him. Like them, you’re saying to yourself “I know Deacon Mike isn’t telling us that he is Jesus Christ”. He’s been coming to St. Andrew’s almost twenty years. Many of you have seen me trying to sing in the choir, or with the Knights, or with the youth ministry, or serving as a Eucharist minister, in a prayer group, and hopefully, standing in line for confession.

But I say to you again; today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. The spirit of the Lord is upon me, unworthy as I am, and upon each of you as well. Through the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ, the anointed one is here, physically in this place. Did you not hear me say “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many are one body, so also Christ?” Since Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, our very presence as part of the body of Christ reaffirms and proclaims the sanctity of life.

Today, God reveals to us that everyone, born and unborn, is called to be one in Christ. Everyone, born and unborn, is created for a purpose. Every life is called to holiness. Now is the acceptable year of the Lord. What does scripture mean by “the acceptable year”? Some biblical scholars suggest that it refers to the year of Jubilee. Leviticus 25 says that after forty-nine years (a “week” of seven seven-year periods), the fiftieth year will be a year of glad tidings, atonement and forgiveness of sins, freedom from all debts. It also says that the year of jubilee will start on the tenth day of the seventh month of the fiftieth year. I will always remember that passage, because the first time that I ever read it was on my fiftieth birthday. My birthday is July 10, 1950. That’s right; the tenth day of the seventh month of the fiftieth year. God has never been subtle with me. That was the day that God laid it on my heart to discern the call to the Permanent Diaconate.

And here I am telling you that today’s Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. I am telling you to proclaim the sanctity of life. Now is the acceptable time to liberate to those held physically, emotionally, and psychologically within a culture of death. Now is the acceptable time to bring glad tidings to the poor mothers of the unborn considering abortion so that they may choose life.

Now is the acceptable time to protect those vulnerably residing captive and oppressed within the womb. Now is the acceptable time to be the voice and the advocate of the unborn and free them from sin of abortion. Now is the acceptable time to give sight to those seeking to help women through Pro-Choice organizations see that abortion hurts women, not help them. Now is the acceptable time to pray and ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, and all the angels and saints, to save from Hell all those souls responsible for the martyrdom of the unborn victims of abortion, who are most in need of God’s mercy. They regard life in the womb as a crime of residence.

Now is the acceptable time, not to judge or condemn, but to give comfort and show compassion to those who have had abortion, as well as their friends and families affected by it and to bring them to a new life in Christ. Now is the acceptable time to make abortion unacceptable at anytime. Paul reminds us that we are all one in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Not all will march or attend rallies. Some will write letters. Some will give of their time, their talent and their treasure. Some will hear the call to vocation. All will pray. If you truly believe that today’s Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing, come to the cross to be united in death with Christ and rise with him to new life, and when this mass is ended, proclaim and promote the sanctity of life and the good news of life everlasting in Christ.

No comments: