Each month while I was in formation for the diaconate we had to prepare a homily. In our classes we were given some pretty clear instructions about the homilies that we were working on:
- Identify the “Pearl” that we would focus on
- Keep them short, no more than 5 – 7 minutes, no one wants to listen to us ramble for much more than that.
- Oh yes, and remember that our homilies need to be about the readings or the Gospel of the day. Ideally we could touch on all three.
We all got pretty good at following the rules, some of the guys even had the ability, perhaps the gift, of making their homilies entertaining.
But in today’s Gospel we hear Jesus give the perfect homily!
- It was certainly about the reading
- It was short enough to hold everyone’s attention
- And the “Pearl” or the point of His message was painfully clear!
His homily: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
I chuckled to myself as I was preparing for this weekend. I thought imagine being able to say one sentence that everyone would understand, wouldn’t it be great. But in just one sentence Jesus tells the people of Galilee, the people of His time, and all the members of the church today to be PEOPLE OF HOPE!
- Hope that we will overcome whatever obstacles that we may encounter
- HOPE that as long as we:
- Respond to God’s call
- Listen when Jesus says “Follow Me”
- Remember that WE are the CHURCH
GOD and JESUS will walk with us always.
Now, I’m not saying that we should approach life with blind faith or optimism. In order for our hope to flourish we need to have a goal for our community.
- We need to be able to see the world differently than it exists today.
- We need to have a plan.
The other day I heard an example of how hope changed a community. We all remember when Katrina hit New Orleans. There was total devastation. It seemed that there was nothing to be hopeful about.
But there was a woman in the ninth ward who was determined to bring that community back, to give her neighbors something to be hopeful about. She decided that the community needed music. So, without any music books or instruments she started gathering some of the children and adults in the community each day to sing.
They sang songs that many of them knew and she gave that community hope that things would be okay again.
Jesus did the same thing when he said “today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
He gave the people of Galilee hope that everything they had been taught about their faith and the coming Messiah was real!
He gave us HOPE that He, as our Savior, would provide for our eternal souls.
Are you hopeful about the future that God has promised?