posted on April 21, 2013 21:24
Homily: Father Mike Kuse
Blessed Sacrament Parish
April 21, 2013 - 4th Sunday of Easter
10 AM Service
If I were to ask everyone here, “To whom do you belong?” you might answer, “This is my wife or husband, or this is my family.” You might say, “I belong to everybody here. I don't know everybody, but we share the same God so I feel like I really know the people here. I belong to a lot of people. I belong to the people with whom I work, and the students that I go to school with.”
Jesus is trying to awaken us. First, you have to have the connection with God. If you have the connection with God, then you are able to make other connections. However, when you make a connection, it has to be for real.
A lot of our connections are not for real.
But some of our connections are for real, and those are the ones we make and hold true to. We truly know them because we see that God lives in these connections, and we know that God lives in me - not always in the most perfect way, but I know who God is. And when we know that - we see it play out.
I don't know who the couple is, but there is an older couple I see when I drive from my home to church. I see them walking on Harrison holding hands, making sure that neither one of them will fall. I would venture to say they have been married for many years. When they get up in the summer they dress in their summer clothes, in winter they are dressed in coats, hats, everything - but no matter what season it is, they are still holding hands taking their morning walk.
You have to say, “Wow.” I bet they've gone through all kinds of things in their lives and have had many ups and downs. They may have been fussing just before breakfast:
“Did you take your medicine?”
“No. Quit telling me.”
“OK. But take your medicine.”
But they can still go out together and enjoy their morning walk.
So often we forget that God talks about love and having the love connection.
No one wants to be cheated on, and no one wants to be betrayed. Love has to come from one heart to another heart, and God has to be there to make the love real.
This morning as we baptize Camden - his parents could have gotten a tub of water, or maybe gone down to the river, there's plenty of water down there, and taken Camden and splashed water on him and said, “Kid is OK!”
We know that it is not OK. Because when we baptize, we baptize into a community - a community of believers, and lovers. And we make connections that make all the difference in the world because we are part of a community that surrounds a child, and surrounds us all. From that moment on, all we need to know is that God lives in us.
I can sense it. It's saying something to me. I can feel it. And when we have that, we know it's for real.
This morning as we continue out the Easter joy, the Easter joy doesn't mean that all the colored eggs are gone, that the jellybeans are gone, and all the baskets are put away so Easter is over. It's never over. And for several days we remind ourselves through baptism, and Eucharist, confirmations, weddings, and ordinations - that all of this is what brings us together and makes these connections real.
That's why we came to church this morning. It is to reconnect, to make sure that whatever I do this week I am doing it with all of you. And whatever you do this week you're doing it with all of us.
That is Easter. That's the joy that really should be sustained in us 24/7.
And so as we baptize Camden, may that joy come to the surface. As we come up to share Eucharist, may we leave knowing that the body and blood of Jesus Christ really is going with me.
And maybe someone this week will look at you doing something, and you don't even know someone is looking, but what you do will speak “volumes” to someone else. That is what keeps the world going.
It's the same spirit that took the city of Boston down the drain, and five days later brought it back up knowing that:
there is a God,
there is love,
people are hurt,
people have abused their power to love,
but the greater community has a stronger love that will always overwhelm us, and bring us back up.
And then we know - there is a God.
Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.