14 July 2010

Only the child-like (Podcast)

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Church of the Incarnation, Univ of Dallas

Podcast  (Please let me know if you're having trouble with these podcasts)

The Psalmist sings, “The Lord will not abandon his people!” If we need to be assured of this promise, we have the birth of Christ Jesus among us; his suffering, death, and resurrection. We have the assurance of the his body, the Church; the assurance of his sacraments, most especially the sacraments of our baptism and the saving sacrifice of his Body and Blood in this Eucharist. And if we need to be assured even beyond these rock-solid promises, he has given us his word, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father. . .no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." The only question for us is this: are we ready, willing, and able to receive the truth of the Father that His Son freely reveals? Though worldly wisdom and worldly learning might help us to clarify and better understand Christ's revelation after we have received him; neither nor both together can prepare us to accept all that the Son has to give. 

If the wisdom and learning of human history cannot prepare us to receive the revelation of Christ Jesus, who or what can? Jesus teaches his disciples that only the child-like can see and hear all that he has to disclose. Only the child-like. Only those unencumbered by the worries of the days and weeks and years that come with living in the world. Only those who live perfectly trusting in the Father's love. Only those who show mercy as the Father shows mercy. Before the glory of God, we must be child-like: innocent, trusting, open to instruction, eager to please, and utterly without guile. In other words, we must be sweating hot with the desire to learn the truth, to put off our anxieties; the desire to be transformed. We can begin this program of spiritual exercise by hearing and believing the Psalmist's refrain: “The Lord will not abandon his people.”

Imagine for a moment what you could learn about God's revelation if you would set aside for just one day, even just one hour, your need to be right, your need to be safe, your need to be in charge. Imagine if you set these aside and fully, truly accepted that the Lord would never leave you to destruction, never forsake you to an eternal death. What could you learn? How would you grow? Think for a moment about the locks you put on your trust, on your love, on your hope. How many are there? Can you count them? Do you believe that hoarding the gifts God has given you will earn you compound interest in heaven? Or that a cautious, meager charity will benefit you in the long run? Gifts left unused for the good of your neighbors will eventually atrophy and die, leaving behind a bitter waste, an angry, soured soul. There is nothing child-like about living your life in resentment and disappointment. Our Father will never abandon us. What is there for us to fear? Nothing. Nothing at all.

The Father created all things to reveal Himself to us; all things reveal the truth of God. But before we can see and hear all He has to tell us, we must be ripe for the revelation; fully prepared to have the seeds of His wisdom planted in our hearts and minds. And only those who watch and listen without anger, bitterness, or guile; without resentment or disappointment; only those who present themselves as students ignorant of pride and envy, only these can be the soil rich enough, fertile enough to grow His Word into a magnificent harvest. The Lord will not abandon us. He has already given us everything we need to remain steadfast along The Way. So, receive His gifts and give thanks; we are His.

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1 comment:

  1. Gregg the Obscure4:45 PM

    Wow. That's a well-crafted homily and one that hit home for me.