Monday, March 31, 2014
Homily - "Be light in my darkness"
Click HERE to listen to Sunday's homily.
We have a speaker series after dinner every Tuesday, and I am excited about our speakers coming this week. They are two ladies from “Isaiah’s Promise” and “St Joseph’s House” who work hand-in-hand to help children with disabilities. “Isaiah’s Promise” works with parents whose unborn babies have been diagnosed with disabilities; they help the parents carry the babies to term. “St Joseph’s House” helps children with major disabilities. I went to a fundraiser for both of these charities a couple months ago. They each showed a DVD which blew us all away. The work that they do is heroic, but to especially see these kids…they are sooo happy! Because they are sooo loved. It really was incredible; they will show the same videos Tuesday night.
I’m excited to have them anyway but particularly with tonight’s Gospel (Jn 9:1-41) about the man who is born with a disability (blindness) which Jesus removes. He is asked why the man was born blind, basically the same as why did God allow him to be blind. The Lord’s answer: “so that the works of God might be made visible through him”. This gives some understanding to why some people are afflicted with disabilities or disorders – either physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, or spiritual. Now, this may not be the answer some would like, and they will say it’s still not fair that these people have to suffer so much. But, it is a profound experience to see the works of God through them. It was profound and moving to see the joy of those kids on the video; it was the joy of Christ! I was watching the NCAA tournament last night. One of the players has a sister with Down Syndrome. They showed her in the stands cheering so loudly for her brother who was playing well; she was going crazy! They kept talking about her, saying she had such a “big heart”. This is what I’m talking about. Seeing the works of God through them raises us all up; it raises the human spirit to another level. It’s so inspiring…and significant.
Many people when they hear this Gospel will say, ‘if God only worked a miracle like that for me’, I would believe like the blind man did. A student sais this very thing to me the other night. I get this. We all want to see God work a physical miracle in our lives. We are visual people, so this makes sense. But, I would ask you to think about other “miracles” God has worked in your life. And again, not just physical, but psychological, emotional, sexual, or spiritual. If you spend the rest of Lent looking back on your life, I guarantee you will find something major God has done for you. I don’t think you wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t. But, maybe we have taken it for granted, or even forgotten about it. If you’re like me, you have trouble remembering things more than 24 hours ago. As a society, we seem to have memory loss after 24 hours! Do remember what God has done for you, and the “miracles” he has worked in your life.
The fact that you are here - choosing to come to Mass every week – is a “miracle”. We have students who are becoming Catholic at Easter…choosing that in college is a “miracle”. Waiting until you’re married to have sex is a “miracle”. Okay, technically, these are not miracles because God does not change the laws of nature to do them. But, He has changed human nature in them. God changing a heart is more powerful than a miracle… every time. I just ask you to think about how God has worked powerfully in your life as he did with the blind man.
Finally, be open and honest. Be open with God. That’s a huge part of this Gospel. The difference between the blind man and the Pharisees is that he is open to Christ and His Power and the Pharisees are not. Be honest with God. Be brutally honest with Him especially if you’re in darkness in general or in a specific part of your life with Him. Throughout Scripture and Tradition, God’s closest friends are so honest with him; respectful, but brutally honest. As you see Him tonight in the Eucharist – where He is made visible to us through the eyes of faith - tell Him what you need. Tell Him, “Jesus, give me some light. I’m in darkness. There’s some blockage here. You are the light of the world. Be light in my darkness”.