Sunday, July 27, 2008

'People Predestined for the Pearl' (Sunday homily)

If you want to summarize what the readings are about, you can say,
"People predestined for the Pearl"—
Let’s talk about that.

In the second reading, Paul says, "those he foreknew":
Before he created the world, God knew everything that would unfold,
including all the trouble and failure that would come.
And yet God went ahead with Creation.
This was an act of love and confidence on God’s part—
He knew how he would overcome the evil and transform it into even greater good.

Paul adds, "…he also predestined"—
God has "predestined" everyone—absolutely everyone—to salvation!

Does that mean everyone will go to heaven?
No. As far as who might go to heaven, or to hell, our only answer is, we don’t know.
But what we know is that God "predestines" us for salvation.

It’s like this—suppose I plan a dinner for ten people;
and because I want everyone to come,
I send everyone a invitation; then I call to remind them.
I tell them how good the party will be.
When the day comes, I even arrange rides for everyone.

But does all that assure that all ten will certainly be there?
No—some may still choose not to come.
They may even start to come, and turn back.

So it is with God’s Kingdom: God has plans for us; he gives us every advantage,
and his grace enables us to be free to answer his call.

Yet one thing God will not do:
He won’t make your decisions for you.

In talking about God’s Plan,
Saint Paul is not talking just about individuals, but humanity.
So when we answer His call, it’s not enough to take care of ourselves;
we take care of one another.
This is part of God’s Plan to undo the evil in our world.

So we share our faith: "Let me tell you about the Pearl—his name is Jesus…"
We care about the needs of this world—
we work with God to bring some measure of justice and dignity,
to the poor, to the laws we live by, to how nations work together.

It makes no sense for us to say, we have the Pearl of God’s Wisdom in our midst,
and then remain passive:
> when our laws fail to protect the unborn,

> when our entertainment and media culture consumes the innocence of the young,
> when our government pushes around other nations—just because we can.
> when we support candidates who refuse to defend the dignity of all God’s children.
This is not Wisdom!

Solomon was given wisdom—but he failed to use it;
if you and I don’t do all we can to make a difference, how are we different?

You might have noticed the role desire plays in the readings:
Solomon desired wisdom; the merchant desired the Pearl.
And we might wonder about those who seem not to desire God.
In fact, in many ways they do, but they don’t know it;
and it may be that how God awakens that desire will not follow the usual path.

But you and I have been given that desire—so what excuse can we offer?

Some can honestly say, I didn’t know about the Treasure;
but we know: you and I know the Eucharist is the Pearl beyond any price.
We know that Mass is the closest we get to heaven on earth;
we know that heaven has come to earth in Jesus Christ.
He is Wisdom: He is the Truth we need,
the Goodness that gives our life fullness;
He is the Beauty that wounds our hearts to ache for him.
What are we willing to give up to have Him?

1 comment:

Mark Daniels said...

Good things here.

Mark Daniels