Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Resurrection Demands a Response: What are you Going to Do About it?

This homily was given at the Easter Vigil liturgy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Eucharistic Miracle July 24, 2013, Guadalajara Mexico 
If you have trouble listening, click here.

The pastor of Mary Mother of the Church, Father Jose Dolores Castellanos Gudino, said that while he was kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, he saw a flash of light and heard a voice.
“Ring the bells so that everyone comes,” the voice allegedly instructed. “I will pour blessings upon those present and the entire day. Take your small tabernacle for private adoration to the parish altar and put the large monstrance next to the small tabernacle. Don’t open the tabernacle until three in the afternoon, not before.” 
“I will perform a miracle in the Eucharist,” the voice continued, “the miracle that will take place will be called, ‘Miracle of the Eucharist in the incarnation of love together with our Mother and Lady.’ Copy the image that I will give you now and show it to others.” 
The voice then reportedly told him to share this with all of his priests to aid in their conversion and that he would fill all souls with blessings.  Fr. Gudino said that after hearing the voice he could only say, “My Lord, I am your servant, let your will be done.”
With local people gathered at 3 p.m., he recounted that he “approached the tabernacle and upon opening it the host consecrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered in blood.”
According to the priest, the voice also told him to establish an adoration chapel and to allow any scientific study necessary to confirm the miracle
I have heard about Eucharistic miracles happening in a place far far away in century long long ago.  I have never heard of something happening so close to our time and place.
Usually God shows a miracle as a reward of faith or to help people believe.  History is full of these kinds of miracles, the most famous is the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano Italy, when a Basilian Monk was doubting during the Mass, asking God for a sign to help his unbelief, then to his amazement, during the consecration, when the priest was saying the words that transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, the host started bleeding.
Jesus worked many miracles during his lifetime.  He healed many sick, cleansed lepers of disease, gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, cast out demons, and even raised from the dead.  
He also preached amazing sermons.  One time, he preached so powerfully for three days straight that people forgot to eat. They felt so full hearing Him speak, but then because He had compassion on the crowds, he fed them with the miracle of the multiplication of loaves.
At the sight of all this, many still did not believe.  Jesus told them, believe in me because of the works that I do, for the works themselves testify to me.
Why did they not believe?  They chose to not believe. They decided that if they would believe in Jesus Christ, it would mean the end of their reign, their own power, title, position, or little kingdom they had set up in their minds.
All Christ’s preaching had an open invitation about. This seems to be the powerful thing about his parables:  They ask, they demand a question to be asked.
The prodigal son asks, are you going to come back to your Father. The parable of the sewing of the seed asks what kind of seed are you going to have - the kind that falls on the path, the kind choked by the world of thorns, or the kind that falls on fertile soil.  The good samaritan asks, are you going to help your neighbor?
Not just his miracles, not only his parables, but His very life asks a question.  Indeed, His glorious Death and triumphant Resurrection asks a question,
The central mystery of our Faith is celebrated this very night - the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, is THE MIRACLE OF OUR FAITH, THE SIGN WHICH SHOWS US GOD, THE PARABLE WHICH ASKS US:
People have all sorts of religious experiences, they are given gifts all day every day, which include the gift of a heart beat, of the sun rising, of their family and friends loving them, they are even given amazing things like this Eucharistic Miracle in Guadalajara - all of these are a deep SIGN of GOD.  They are supposed to make us respond, to make a decision.
The Holy Mass is the most amazing SIGN OF GOD, because unlike all other signs, it also contains the SIGNIFIER.  It is not only THE MIRACLE of GOD but it is the GOD of MIRACLES.  
Every time we celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is presented to us again.  Indeed the Church tells us that every Sunday is to be celebrated as a mini-easter, a day of faith, a day of the Church, a day of the family, a day of rest.
This past Sacred Triduum, Fr James told me today that he believes God is doing something in this congregation. I know Fr James and I are not the only one who is aware of this. I know many of you can feel it too.
I believe Jesus is showing you as a people, a gift of new life, showing you the Resurrection in a powerful way.  
I believe he is calling you as a community to love one another in a new and powerful way by living in closer friendship and fellowship the bonds of faith and family.
I believe he is calling you men to be strong in moral conscience, to stand firm in holiness and purity of heart.
I believe he is calling you women to be beautiful in love’s kindness and sweet patience.
I believe he is calling you children, you young people, to be joyful, to be alive, to be disciples, just as Jesus at age 12 became a teacher, that you would go out and share your faith with your generation.
I believe he is calling you to throw open the doors of your church and your hearts to go out to byways and highways and invite the many, the lost, the broken, the needy, the poor - to know Jesus Christ in the powerful way of life in his One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I believe he is calling you to clean up this part of town, to renew the homes, streets, and business, but a social order that is leavened and influenced by the holy Gospel.
He IS calling you.
Tonight there is one thing you must do.  It is work. In fact, it is the work of the entire Easter Season. It is not easy, but God the Holy Spirit invites you to do it - REJOICE.  The work of mightily praising and worshiping the Lord in full throated gleeful rejoicing and praising is something that demands every fiber of your being to stand up and sing.  
He is inviting you to wear upon your hearts and faces the sign of the Resurrection - to smile. Smile at God and smile at one another.  Smile!  Smile Catholic Church! God loves you. He has redeemed you. You shouldn’t look, as Pope Francis says, like you just got out of a funeral.
St Augustine can help us here.  He says that we have to gather from our whole being, the joy of all the angels, saints, the victory of every poor soul, the happiness of every single person rescued in the pits of hell.
“Our thoughts in this present life should turn on the praise of God, because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice for ever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now. So we praise God during our earthly life, and at the same time we make our petitions to him.” -St Augustine, discourse on the psalms
We should gather up all the petitions, praises, adoration and from our inmost being, from the depths of our souls, from our guts we let it rise up from our hearts to out mouths with the great battle cry:
Let this battle cry in the holy season of Easter help us, train our minds to be consumed not by our own foolish distractions and sorrows, but to be fixated on the Eternal Easter - the eternal joys of heaven and let us cry out


No comments:

Post a Comment