Homily — 14th Sunday Ordinary Time C July 8, 2007

Homily — 14th Sunday Ordinary Time C July 8, 2007

Isaiah by Michelangelo wga.hu

In Jerusalem you shall find your comfort, Isaiah the Prophet tells us in the First Reading.

The Old Testament prophets, of course, are frequently seen prophesying the coming of Christ. But St. Augustine teaches us that the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah more frequently prophesied the coming of Christ’s Church.

And the (Roman) Catechism tells us that when the prophets speak of Jerusalem, they are usually speaking of the Church Jesus would establish in the distant future.

And so Isaiah says that In this new Jerusalem, In the Church, you shall find your comfort.

And how time and again do we experience the fulfillment of that great prophecy. How much comfort there is to be found in the Church of Christ!

The Christian has the comfort for instance of knowing that he or she is a child of God, redeemed by the Precious Blood of His Son. God is our Father! Jesus is our Brother! We are Temples of the Holy Spirit! How comforting and assuring are these truths.

The comfort of having faith. How would we get through the tough times of our life without our faith to carry us through them?

In the new Jerusalem which is the Church, we also find the comfort of the Sacraments:

Jesus present to us in the Eucharist, here in our midst 24/7 in the tabernacle;

Jesus forgiving our sins in the Sacrament of Penance;

and Jesus strengthening us & our sick loved ones in the Anointing of the Sick, or giving us or them the Last Rites;

In the new Jerusalem of the Church we find the great comfort of our Mother Mary, given to us from the Cross by Jesus.

And then, how very comforting are the many devotions of the Catholic Church: the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, the Brown Scapular, Divine Mercy, the Sacred Heart, & so so many more.

The comfort of feast days and fast days: Christmas, Easter, Holy Week, Advent & Lent.

And then in the New Jerusalem which is the Church, we find what I think Isaiah meant by the wealth of nations: the Saints, human beings like us from every nation and age, who struggled with what we struggle with and who were victorious. How comforting it is to know that the saints are with us as we fight the good fight of faith!

And finally, how comforting it is to have the Pope and the perennial Teachings of the Church. How comforting it is to have priests we call father, nuns we call mother and sister, monks and friars we call brother.

How comforting it is to have a parish to come to each weekend to worship God in and to raise our children in.

Yes Isaiah, you were exactly right when you prophesied that in Jerusalem we shall find our comfort.

But may we who love our faith remember two things:

1) First, our faith may be comfort-ing, but it’s not always comforta-ble.

As St. Paul says, God forbid that we should boast in anything but the Cross of Jesus Christ, though which we have been crucified to the world with all its false allurements.

We can never become comfortable with our faith, but must always be ready to bear the Cross when it comes.

2) And secondly, while we have been blessed to have found comfort in our faith, so many people in the world have yet to find the comfort of knowing Christ and his Church.

The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. Even in Jesus’ day there was a shortage of vocations. We must pray fervently and ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

If we don’t pray for laborers, especially full time ones, priests and religious vocations, that abundant harvest of souls for Christ will rot away out there in the field.

So as we come before Christ in this Eucharist, we thank Him for all the many ways He comforts us through His Church.

May He spread prosperity over His New Jerusalem like a river, so that our hearts will rejoice, our bodies flourish like the grass, and so that the Lord’s power will be known to His Servants.

One Response to “Homily — 14th Sunday Ordinary Time C July 8, 2007”

  1. Brian says:

    I like the line about “our faith may be comfor-ting but it’s not always comforta-ble”. I know this is a huge stumbling block for many people, the reality that Christ calls all of us to be ready to accept the crosses in our lives with patience and love. Though this is very difficult to embrace it’s also very comforting to know that through the Sacriments of the Church we recieve the power to persevere through any dificuly in life always keeping the cross of Christ in front of us to remind us of his willingness to suffer and die for us so that we may have eternal life with him.

    Great homily!!