So he rides into Jerusalem triumphant, though he has not yet conquered death. He comes now not so much to manifest his glory and power as conquerors do, but rather to show his humility. He’s riding upon a donkey – a slow, lowly beast, not a brilliant white charger. He teaches us that we can trust Him, that we can lay down our defenses and let Him in. He is simple, He is humble, He is approachable. We do not have to live in fear.
Father, Son & Holy Ghost
Sermons about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Trinity.
I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named …
-Ephesians 3: 14-15
Fathers represent, and therefore teach us, about God the Father with whom we are destined to spend eternity. If we do not learn to know Him and love Him as a father, it will hinder our chances of achieving that end.
(Talk preached for an audience of Catholic women during a Silent Retreat)
Today we are confronted with a great mystery of our faith. The Lord reveals to his disciples that He will suffer, that He will die, and that He will rise again on the third day [Luke 18: 31-43]. And we are told they could not understand this saying. We can understand, perhaps, how his rising from the dead might be difficult for them to grasp. Such a thing had only happened a couple of times in their recorded history. But that He would suffer and the He would die – why should this be difficult for them to understand?
“That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father. So that he is no longer a slave, but a son. And if a son, an heir also through God.” (Gal 4:5-7) We should meditate on this truth often. The humanity of Jesus Christ was something new upon the earth, something new in creation. It was new because it was not humanity like any other. This humanity, while truly itentical to ours, was also for the firs time up to that point, truly holy.
Fear of the Lord, a dread of offending our beloved creator, is only the beginning of wisdom, and true fear of the Lord leads not to paralysis but to freedom and great love. But the fear that seems so predominant in the world today is not the fear of the Lord. Rather, it seems to bring mistrust and doubt, skepticism, rumors, dissension. It causes us to try harder and harder to gain control of things we cannot control, and can cause us not to act at all or to not act as we should for fear of the unknown.
Things are real. Truth exists. And we have to recognize that fact and live within that reality or things will not go well. When we partake of the body of Christ, the son of God, in the Eucharist, we become more closely united to God the Father than we are to our own human father. This is a fact, and if we do not recognize it, things cannot go well with us. The more we are aware of this fact – study it, dwell on it, contemplate it, live it – the more everything else will make sense to us. God’s life in us is the central reality of creation. It is the point of creation.
What was it that Adam did? He severed the bond between God and man – he cut us off from our Father. And how did Christ restore this loss? Yes, he paid our debt, made up for our disobedience by giving His life in a perfect act of obedience to His Heavenly Father. But if that was all that was done, why would the church proclaim at the Easter Vigil, “O felix culpa” O happy fault that merited such a redeemer. In order for Adam’s sin to be called a happy fault, the repair of that fault must have brought us something that we did not have before, and something better than what we had before. What can that possibly be? I can think of only one thing: the Eucharist.
The purpose of this sermon, therefore, is to encourage devotion to the Eucharist as a means of restoring our idea of fatherhood. For by the Eucharist we participate in the life of our Heavenly Father.
Our Lord and Savior on the cross expresses his perfect faith and confidence in His Father when he says, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” So too we take today’s gospel passage [Mark 8:1-9 – miracle of the loaves and fishes], an account of an actual event that is given, but we also take it to what it points towards, much more than what is told to us today. These people followed Jesus out to a place with no food and so trusted Him that they failed to make provisions for themselves. They trusted that He would take care of them, the same trust that our Lord exhibits in His Heavenly Father from the cross. Do we have such faith and trust in our Heavenly Father as those who sought our Lord in the desert?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Here under the appearances of bread and wine is the creator of the universe, He who has always existed, who has never not existed, He whose nature it is to exist. Here He is in the Eucharist, for us, because that is the best way that God himself could find to be with us.
When Man creates things that are disordered and ugly, those things are not a reflection of Man but rather of Man’s disorder, Man’s brokenness. But in God there is no disorder, and therefore it would be repugnant to God to create that which is not beautiful, for the creation reflects the creator just as the art reflects the artist. And in this case, the creator is not just beautiful but is beauty itself.
All of creation and everything in creation is a reflection of God in some way, some aspects of God. On Trinity Sunday, we consider one part of God’s creation which reflects in a particular way that God is a Trinity, and then we will see some practical consequences that that ought to have for us. That particular aspect of God’s creation that we are talking about is marriage.