Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Glory that is already there (2nd Sunday of Lent)

A few years back,
there was a movie called
Wayne’s World.
Wayne had a best friend, named Garth—
who was kind of a geek; nervous and shy.
One night, they were hanging out
in their favorite donut shop,
and Garth sees a pretty girl he’s had his eye on for awhile.

And, all of sudden, her face is lit up with a heavenly light,
a breeze catches her hair, violin music swells…
And Garth is carried away!
Then—just that quick—it’s over.

If you’ve been in love, you’ve had that experience.

But the question is—did Garth imagine what he saw?
Or, did he catch a momentary glimpse of the glory
that was there all the time?

That’s what happens in the Gospel to the Apostles.
The change is not in Jesus—
but in what the Apostles are able to see:
they behold the glory of the Lord,
that was there all the time.

If you’ve ever wondered what that was like,
I want you to know,
you have the opportunity to experience that!
Every hour of every day, you and I
can go be with the Lord; he is present in our midst
just as he was with the Apostles.
I mean, of course, his presence in the Eucharist.

Remember, most of how the Apostles experienced Jesus
would have been very ordinary.

And often when we come to Mass,
or we come into church or the chapel,
and all we perceive is…the ordinary.

Sometimes how some of us carry ourselves
in church suggests we forget
this is not just another public building,
but rather, this is holy ground.

The ordinary, the hum-drum, is easy to focus on;
it’s easy to be distracted by someone
fumbling with a song-book;
much harder to hear God call us,
as he did in the first reading for Abram.

So, what do we do?

You and I have, in our St. Clare Chapel,
an amazing blessing.
Do you realize most parishes don’t have what we have?
Yes, we can rationalize and say,
“Oh, God is everywhere,
I don’t need to go to the chapel.”

Yes, but we have a hard time tuning in.
It’s we who need holy ground, sacred places,
to help us focus and tune in.

I want to invite you to experience the blessing
of spending time in the presence of the Lord,
in our 24-hour chapel.

In your pews are forms and pencils so you can sign up.
In a moment, we’ll have time to fill that out.

Why not give it a try just for Lent—
see if you don’t experience something powerful?
See if you don’t say, as Peter did:
“Lord, it is good for us to be here”?

Yes, maybe it will seem very ordinary, at first;
maybe you will wonder, what can I do with an hour?
But if you give the Lord that time,
you will discover it fills up very fast with his presence.
You will run out of time before you run out of prayers.

The other day I read something
from the New York Times—it was about how couples
have to make an effort to keep the romance alive.
It talked about having a date-night,
and doing new, fun things together,
just like when you first went out.

But the main thing is, the couple has to have time
just for each other to keep the romance alive—
to keep seeing each other the way Garth saw that girl.

And it’s the same if we want our relationship
with the Lord to be full of energy
and if we are to experience his glory in our lives.

Haven’t you felt it?
There is a weight of glory that fills St. Clare Chapel.
When we spend time, “soaking up” that glory,
we carry that out with us—
it helps us perceive more of His glory everywhere else.

Especially at Mass—in a moment,
you and I will be experience his death and resurrection.
As Christians, our sharing of the Eucharist,
is we “catch” his glory,
so that we can bring it with us, out into the world.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another fantastic homily.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you father, this is great. Something like this i never hear in my parish, even though we have an adoration chapel. we get no challenges in my parish, only a sugar coated Catholicism which is shame.

Mary Margaret said...

You rock, Father! That was a fantastic homily about something that I never hear at my parish. We don't often have adoration at our parish, but I will now have to check it out. Not like I don't have enough to do. Kidding, just kidding! You've inspired me. Thank you.

KitBrookside said...

"Party On, Father!" ;-)

Truly, I do so enjoy your homilies...thanks!


Anonymous said...

Oh my life..some of my kids watched that over & drove me mad..