posted on January 20, 2013 09:39
Homily: Father Don Knuffman
Blessed Sacrament Parish
January 20, 2013 - Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
10 AM Service
Good Morning. Did anyone find a box floating around that had a lot of nice warm air in it? Well, that's the warm air from yesterday. We are trying to protect it for another day or two. So if you see it around, bring it back.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, John and Mary Wilson were redoing their home - especially the inside. Their house was about 30 years old and they had always taken care of the outdoors as things came along. But they had ignored the inside and things hadn't changed much in those years. Now that their children were all out of the home with families, or going to college, they thought this would be a good time to do something with the interior of the house. To supplement that determination, they hired an interior decorator.
Everything was going along just fine until all of a sudden a question came up and John said, “No.” The question was, “What shall we do with this picture of Jesus? It's been hanging on the wall for thirty years. Can't we get something new to hang on the wall?”
Well, John and his wife got into a big argument about this. For John that picture of Jesus told him a lot of things. It helped reveal to him all the things that he and his wife and family had experienced in their many years together. So he said, “We have to remember. Our family has been greatly blessed and we are going to have Our Lord as the center of this family.”
After a while, Mary decided that she would go along with it. In fact, she read something that really turned her around. It was a statement that Jesus gave to a group of people that he was instructing when he was here on earth. In that instruction he said to them, “If you profess me to those here on earth, my Father will profess you to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In other words, if you acknowledge me here on earth, my Father will acknowledge you in Heaven. It's a pretty good promise. It's really the one we basically pray for, and continually hope will be part of our growth in our love for the Lord, and for each other.
Our Lord was very comfortable going to other people's homes. Someone said that Jesus spent more time in other people's homes than they did. He enjoyed families, and he enjoyed gatherings of people. In all those cases something wonderful happened.
For example, in the Gospel today a young couple is celebrating their marriage and Jesus comes to their aid and turns water into wine. Their lives will never be the same because of their knowledge of what Jesus did at their wedding.
We know that Jesus was very close to Mary and Martha and their brother, Lazarus, and went to their home frequently. You can tell that Jesus was close to all three of them because they were very familiar with each other, and they were not afraid to complain about what was going on.
Jesus was there when one of the rulers of the synagogue comes to him and tells him that his little girl has died. Jesus goes to his home and brings the little girl back to life.
Jesus goes to the home of the mother-in-law of St. Peter and finds out she has a bad fever that was making her very sick. He takes her hand and lifts her up and the fever leaves her.
Jesus was there when Zacchaeus, wanting to see Jesus because his conscience was bothering him, climbed a tree so he could see Jesus when he passed by on the road. Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down and take me to your home.” Then Jesus went to his house and taught Zacchaeus how he could receive two things - the honesty of doing right, and the work of forgiveness.
So today, as we reflect upon family not only in the past but also in the present and the future, I think for me at least, that one statement is really powerful. Let us reflect upon it. “If you acknowledge me on earth, I will acknowledge you before my Father in Heaven.”
Father Don Knuffman is a senior priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.