Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily


Blessed Sacrament Parish


Homily by Father Mike Kuse

January 19, 2014 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

10 AM Service


Gospel   John 1:29-34

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

He is the one of whom I said,

‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me

because he existed before me.’

I did not know him,

but the reason why I came baptizing with water

was that he might be made known to Israel.”

John testified further, saying,

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven

and remain upon him.

I did not know him,

but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,

‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,

he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’

Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”




With whom are you connected?  How did you get connected?  We forget sometimes because it happens so suddenly and so quickly, but our whole life revolves around introductions and connections.  Sometimes we’ll say a person is introduced to someone else because there is a political need, or there is a financial need.  When Jesus says,  “I’m talking about a spiritual need”  — that we all have in common.  Once we accept who Jesus is and we let our baptism come alive, we live a different style of life,  although we can always go back to how it started.


Molly is going to be introduced to us this morning by her Mom and Dad and her extended family.  In return, by being here, we are all going to introduce ourselves to her when we make the profession of faith.  She won’t remember this moment, but 20 years from now she will because she will grow up knowing that she will not have anything to worry about in life because, she will say, “I have been brought up to know that there is a God who loves me.” 


For some here this is the question: Who is the person who introduced you to your current husband or wife?  Was it at a party, was it at a bar, was it at a wedding reception, was it at a family picnic?  How did you meet that person you fell in love with? And that person, because someone  introduced you, changed your life.


If you have noticed we have been talking about baptism over the last few weeks, and it has been very strong during Advent and Christmas, and certainly during the baptism of Jesus when John introduces Jesus by baptizing him in the Jordon.  That was John’s role in life.  Because he made that introduction, he was beheaded.  John knew, “This is why I came.”  And Jesus told him,  “Just do what you have to do.  It’s all part of God’s plan.”


If you notice, when Jesus begins his public ministry, how the apostles tell one another about Jesus.  Andrew goes after his brother Peter and says, “You’ve got to meet this guy.  There’s something special about him.  You just have to meet him!”


What happens?  Peter comes.  Jesus says,  “Andrew, get out of the way.  Peter, you are the rock on which I will build my church.”  If you go through Scripture you will hear Peter’s name over and over and over again.  Count how many times you hear about Andrew, just three or four times.


That’s the gift that God is trying to tell us:  “When we have something that is really important to us, we want to introduce someone to it.”  We introduce people to a new restaurant.  Our young people are on a TEC this weekend, and when they experience Jesus they are going to go out and say,  “You need to have this.” 


It’s in all of these friendships that the Kingdom of God comes alive.  I would just ask —  think of someone who introduced you or welcomed you, and in a very small gesture  changed your whole life.  It could have been a teacher you had in third or fourth grade.  Maybe you were struggling with spelling or math and the teacher said to you,  “Let me help you.  You’ve got it.  You can do this.  You just need a little bit of help.”  All of a sudden 20, 30, 40 years later, I will never forget that that person took time for me, and encouraged me.  It made  all the difference to me in my life.


It’s much more than a political or a business connection.  It’s much more than getting to  know the people in our neighborhood.  What Jesus is talking about goes a lot deeper, if you have the faith.


Jesus is the one everyone should connect with and get to know. Molly is going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  It’s that Holy Spirit that somehow gets inside of us and gives us the urge to live our life so that someone else will ask,  “How did you get to know God?  I just feel that God is so far from me.” 


And that’s your cue to say,  “Let me introduce you to him.”


There are some people who have never been taught how to pray.  There are some people who have never been invited to a church.  I don’t care what religion, or what country, they have just never had that experience to be able to pray.


Every Sunday we are asked at the sign of peace to welcome someone.  When someone comes into church he or she might say, “I’ve been here 50 years, so you don’t have to say hello to me.”  But  if that person didn’t say hello to you, you might think, “Why did they snub me.  I’ve been here 50 years and they ignore me.  They go after that person to welcome and talk to, but they don’t care about me.” 


We always need that connection with each other. 


So Jesus, this morning, is saying, “I want all of you to connect with Molly.  And I want Molly to connect with all of you.”


When that happens she’ll never be lost.  And what you and I need to do, if we ever get lost, is to renew that connection.  Who are you connected with?  Is Jesus part of your life, or is he just a tag-along?  Is your family surrounded by you as family, or does it just happen that you were born into that group of people?


May the Eucharist that we celebrate constantly remind us, we were baptized with water and the spirit.  The water cleanses, the spirit gives life.



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Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.




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