posted on July 08, 2012 16:21
Homily: Father Mike Kuse
Blessed Sacrament Parish
July 8, 2012 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10 A.M. Service
Probably everybody here has had the experience themselves, or with their grandchildren, that when you get a group of kids playing and then they start arguing and fighting until you are just about ready to jump off the bridge. One of the famous sayings is, “Enough is enough!”
Well, that is the negative side of what Jesus is saying this morning. Jesus is saying to us, “My grace and my mercy are enough for you.” Think about that. “My grace and my mercy, they are enough for you.”
There was a mother who would constantly say to her children, “I love you.”
She would put them to bed at night, “I love you enough.” They heard this from her throughout their lives. When it came to the time that Mom had gotten older and she had been given an illness that was going to end in death very shortly, one of the daughters came to spend time with her Mother.
When she was leaving to go back home - she lived quite a distance - she knew when she came back home it would be for her Mom's funeral. And in leaving, her Mom gave her a kiss and a hug and she said, “I love you enough.”
The daughter said, “Mom, you've been saying that throughout our whole life. We get the “I love you,” but what's the “enough.”
And the mother said, “All I ask is that God will give you everything you need in your life. I don't want you to have too much, and I don't want you to be without. I just want you to have whatever you need so that you will know that I am thinking of you, and that God is with you.”
The daughter went home. Her next visit was for her Mom's funeral, but she'll never forget - “I love you enough.”
This morning Jesus is saying that to each of us. He's saying to us, “Will you just be open to what I want to give you, because I have this all planned out and I really don't want you trying to take charge because you're just going to mess it up. But I want to give you whatever you need. And you will understand that in your weakness you will be blessed. And in your blessings you will see your weakness. But don't worry about that. I've made you all different.”
But the glue that brings us altogether as the people of God is that we just realize, “If I can't play the piano as beautifully as Steve plays the piano I can just sit and listen. My weakness is completely fulfilled in his gift of excess of what God has given to him.” Sometimes we forget that, and we tend to be jealous of just stupid things. We're just jealous - “I wonder why I have this pimple, nobody else has a pimple, why did God give me that?”
Just let it be. That's not what life is all about. It's about us realizing that all of us have strengths, and all of us have weaknesses. We are asked to focus on the gifts and the strengths that we have. And if we use them, we never think about the things we don't have. Or the weaknesses that we think we have.
Sometimes we can have a weakness that we think is something horrible, but actually it's a gift because it's helping someone else to see into their own life and understand what they have or don't have.
When you look at Ezekiel and Paul and Jesus today, they all were facing the same things. Paul sensed that thorn in the flesh. Scripture scholars are still trying to figure out what he was talking about, but he never explained it except that he was dealing with something in his life and he wished he didn't have to deal with that and yet God said, “You must deal with it because I'm going to work through that - so that your strengths will come out to the world.”
And Jesus says to us this morning, “You know, it's important for us to have faith. Because faith helps us to know what grace and mercy are, and then you can accept what's going on.”
In the Catholic faith, and you see this at Easter, you see people leaving church after the homily to go to my office to reflect on the Word during the RCIA process. Well, when somebody completes that process - whether it's this morning when Arlene's going to be baptized - when she's in second grade she'll be receiving first communion. When she's in eighth grade she'll be confirmed. And then she will have completed her initiation.
Last Saturday the Logan family was here. Mom and Dad completed their initiation. The oldest daughter received all the sacraments. The youngest daughter was baptized.
What happens after the initiation? The expectation is that everybody who is initiated into the church will then use all the gifts they have so that other people will be blessed. We have a fancy name for that. We call that the mystigocia. What it simply means is that when everybody pitches in and does what they need to do everyone is satisfied. A simple experience of that would be if you go to a potluck and everyone brings a dish. Inevitably, if more people show up, or whatever happens, there is always enough food.
People learn to support one another and to share. So now Jesus is saying for us, “If you share you faith, everybody else will have - enough.
This week I would ask all of us to think of those words of the Mother, “I love you enough.” May we just wish each other here this morning, and our sisters and brothers throughout the world, that everybody in this coming week will have everything that they need to find peace and happiness, that their life will be filled with love and hope, and they can come back next Sunday and say, “Thanks. Your grace and your mercy are enough.”
And we can in the silence of our hearts say to everyone here, “I love you enough.”