|This is the little girl I spoke about in my homily|
Listen to my homily for today:
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In the Gospel we have a living encounter with the Lord Jesus, who comes to us as the comforter of the afflicted and the affliction of the comfortable, the healer of the broken and the breaker of the "healed." The Pharisees had a nice little fortress and stronghold, content to make decrees and proclamations that were not in keeping with the Gospel of the Lord, which is a Gospel of healing and restoration. We find in them a very strange tendency to resist healing and redemption, to want to have it on their terms. It isn't that hard to find ourselves in this situation, if we, like the Pharisees, have set up our little kingdom of self love and self affirmation, not allowing others to love us or affirm us, especially our Father, whose love will always make us go beyond ourselves and rise above where we are ready to go.
The Love of the Father when we are young is an amazing affirmation, but when we are more mature in the grace of God, his affirmation comes in the form of the Cross. We know that his love cradles us, but he doesn't want to coddle us. He says to us, "STAND UP TALL AND WALK STRAIGHT! BE A MAN! BE A WOMAN!" We then are affirmed by finding that we can carry whatever cross, whatever suffering, trial, or temptation that our Father permits us to endure. We also find that he asks us to be his voice, to present to others through spiritual paternity or maternity his very fatherhood so that we too show others how beautiful they are and how much loved they are by God.