Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily


Reading 1            Exodus 34: 4b-6, 8-9

Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai

as the LORD had commanded him,

taking along the two stone tablets.


Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there

and proclaimed his name, "LORD."

Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,

"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,

slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."

Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.

Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O Lord,

do come along in our company.

This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins,

and receive us as your own."


Responsorial Psalm        Psalm 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;

And blessed is your holy and glorious name,

praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,

praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.

Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you who look into the depths

from your throne upon the cherubim,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Glory and praise for ever!


Reading 2            2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Brothers and sisters, rejoice.

Mend your ways, encourage one another,

agree with one another, live in peace,

and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Greet one another with a holy kiss.

All the holy ones greet you.


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ

and the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.


Gospel John 3:16-18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him might not perish

but might have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,

but that the world might be saved through him.

Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,

but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,

because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.




Sometimes you can ask a person, “Do you believe in God?”


And the response is, “Yes, I do.  John 3:16”


“Oh, come on.  Do you really believe in God?  Do you feel God?  Do you know love?  Do you experience life to the fullest?”


“Awe, …  sometimes.”


But today we are learning that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are saying to us,  “It’s not a sometimes thing.  It’s not quoting a chapter. “


Some respond, “Show me the real thing.  Let me realize through some experience that I know that you are God.”


Several years ago, there were four people and they were on a tour in Italy and it was on the feast of The Most Holy Trinity.  They found a Catholic Church and decided to go there for Mass. They walked into church and thought, like many Catholics do when they visit a strange church,  “We’ll just slip into the last pew.”


Well, there was no last pew in this church.  When they walked into the church there were all round tables and eight chairs to each table.  And they thought, “Wow.  Are we at the right church?”


They were welcomed in and sat down at a table. The Mass started and continued.  When it came time for the Liturgy of the Word to be completed and to take up the offering they thought,  “Well, this is one thing we know about.  We take out our wallet and we have to give when we come to a Catholic Church.”  But it was entirely different.  The ushers came up to the front and got four baskets that were filled with money and they went around to all the tables.  The people knew what to do because this took place every Sunday.  It was in a poor section of this town in Italy and the people knew to take from this basket what they needed.


When that experience was finished, Mass continued and they all came up for Communion.  Then, this same group of ushers came up and went into the sacristy and came out carrying coffee and doughnuts and plates and napkins and went around to every table and prepared the table so that the people could enjoy the fact that they had broken the fast.  They were now going to have break fast (breakfast).


As they were enjoying coffee and doughnuts the same ushers came around again with another basket of money and said,  “Take something so that you can buy a flower for someone, so you can help someone else or, if you need to, buy something for yourself.”


The people lingered for a while and then everyone dispersed.  Those four people left that church having an experience of Eucharist they had never had before and it was an experience of love that was going to change their lives.  They realized after they had visited and worshiped with this group that these people at this church were the drug addicts, they were the poor, and they were the people that didn’t smell the best.  But these people knew every Sunday, at that hour, they could come and experience God’s love.


It gives us an opportunity to think about how we experience love when we come to Eucharist.  We do take up an offering, but our offering goes out to the children in our school, in our PSR and youth ministry.  Our offering goes out to people in the parish who are homebound.  Our offering goes out to families in need.  So we do the same thing, but we do it differently.


So when we give — our gift is also being distributed.


Jesus says, “You know, sometimes we forget the power of love and what it really means.”


Today, as we celebrate Father’s Day, everyone here could stand up and say something about their father, their grandfather, their great-grandfather and how their father touched their lives.


There was a family who had two sons.  The oldest son had a rare disease and they found out that if he didn’t have a blood transfusion he was going to die.  One day when they discovered this had to happen, the father sat down with the younger son and said,  “In order for somebody to give blood to your brother, it has to match.  We all went through the matching process but you are the only one who has the same blood as your brother.” 


Then he asked him, “Would you be willing to give blood to your brother?”  Now remember, this is a small child.


The child said, “Yes.”  He didn’t think twice about it.  When the day came for the transfusion to take place and the doctors and nurses had hooked everything up, the boy looked at his father and asked,  “Dad, how long will it take me to die?”


“You’re not going to die,” the father said.  “You are just going to give a little of your blood.  But a little of your blood is going to keep your brother alive.”

When the father first asked his son if he would give his blood, the boy didn’t sit around and say,  “Really?  Oh, I don’t think so.  Well, maybe.  What am I going to get out of it?”  He just said,  “Yes, I will.”


It was the father who connected these two brothers to understand that they are not only blood brothers, but they are brothers who will love each other forever.


You and I have to sit back and ask,  “What kind of a love is going on in my life?”


Then it comes to the second reading and Paul is talking to the people of Corinth and Paul says,  “I will leave you with the holy kiss.”


A kiss should be a very generous expression of love. When all of us were infants and two and three and four years old, we were hugged and kissed and bathed and had our diapers changed and everything else.  But those kisses brought us into the lives of some people who would be there for us forever.


Then, we take the kiss later on in life, and sometimes if you know someone well enough you may offer him or her a kiss. However,  when people fall in love the kiss is saying,  “I want to be with you forever.” 


Then Jesus tells us,  “It’s that kiss that will then take you to see the face of God.”


Later on in Mass we turn to each other and say,  “Peace be with you” — that is called “the kiss of peace.”  Which means when I shake your hand and say “peace be with you,”  I promise you the love of Christ that is working through me, and I thank you for the love of Christ that you are bringing into my life.


And that is why in Scripture Jesus teaches Paul the holy kiss explains everything.  The holy kiss is what draws us together as the people of God — but it started with Mom and Dad.  It started in the friendship of love — but it ends in the total outpouring of Christ into each of our lives.


Love is everlasting.


*  *  *

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


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