Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rich in what counts (Sunday homily)

In the second reading, the Apostle Paul is confident
the Lord will keep us “firm to the end”
because “you are not lacking in any spiritual gift.”

Saint Paul says we are rich;
but a lot of us aren’t feeling very rich right now.
Like you, I have to put money aside for retirement,
and I have not looked at a statement in months.

When I visit St. Clare Chapel,
I look at the prayers people write in the book—
a lot of us are praying for jobs, and for money to pay our bills.

What can we say? The economy is out of our hands.
But listen again to Paul: you and I are rich all the same,
in the only thing that will count
when the Lord returns to judge the earth.

Now, more than ever, is time to examine that balance-sheet.
Now is time to draw on these reserves—
and if our spiritual reserves are low—
now is the time to build them up!

One way in particular is to visit our Saint Clare Chapel—
open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Along with the Prophet Isaiah, we might cry out:
Lord, tear open the heavens and come down!
But he already has!

Come to our chapel and gaze at Him,
and let Him look intently at you.
The worry and fear so many of us face, and we can’t shake:
This is the one place we can find relief.
A lot of people struggle at prayer;
but the heart of prayer is intimacy;
“intimacy” describes the energy that holds a couple together;
but it also describes the easy closeness of best friends.

This intimacy doesn’t just happen, it takes time and effort.
As it grows, it becomes so powerful
and sustains us on the deepest level.

Well, it’s the same in our relationship with the Lord.
And, as with any other relationship,
there’s no substitute for time together.

Many of us keep a regular hour in the chapel,
or else we drop by sometime during our day.

You do realize that most parishes
do not have a chapel such as ours,
open all day and night, every day of the year?

Our chapel is an engine of prayer;
It is the storehouse of spiritual riches beyond measure!
It is the throne-room of heaven, come down to earth, for us!

We do need people to commit to each hour;
We have a few hours that are vacant.
If you ever said, “one of these days…”
Maybe this is the day?
Please see the bulletin and make the call.

Of course, that kind of commitment holds us back.
So how about this? Sign up for two months; or just a month.
Give it a try!

Soon, we are going to begin bringing our younger schoolchildren
across Miami Street to make short visits to the chapel,
so they learn to pray before the Blessed Sacrament—
to see Jesus lives right here in our midst!—
to help them build their lives on him.

Parents, I’d like to suggest you do the same—
bring your families for visits!
It doesn’t have to be long;
but think of the message this will send:
your children will see that you know how much you need the Lord;
you will give them an example of humility and trust.

What family doesn’t face trouble?
Bring those troubles to the Lord side-by-side
is a powerful way to bond your family together.
Some have tried everything else…

In the Gospel the Lord gave us a one-word command: “Watch!”
We never know how long we have or when the Lord will come;
but when we are close to the Lord in the Eucharist,
that’s something we don’t have to worry about.

1 comment:

eileen said...

Father: What a wonderful homily to inform your parishioners of the grace of Eucharistic adoration.

I attend chapel for an hour weekly. Unfortunately our chapel is only open 2 days a week. It once was a chapel opened, like yours, 24/7 but it was not being sustained.

Your quote: "This intimacy doesn’t just happen, it takes time and effort.
As it grows, it becomes so powerful"

How true it is. I found adoration 11 years ago and I know, at first, it was hard to concentrate on prayers, and I can find myself even today being preoccupied with the day's events. It is a growth in prayer and a discipline that is peaceful and fulfilling.

Your parishioners are VERY fortunate to have St. Clare's Chapel. I once heard it said (possibly on EWTN) that parishes with Adoration chapels are the ones that thrive. May God continue to bless your parishes.