Sunday of Pentecost 2017 Homily

All of humanity has been given the greatest gift of all. Those who have heard about Jesus Christ and Gods intervention in time, have each been given a beautifully wrapped present. And like any present, this gift looks appealing to the eye, but is useless, unless we look past the surface beauty of the wrapping, pull the ribbon, tear away the paper, and peer into the box. It is only then that we can behold the actual gift, it is only then that we can experience the present we are intended to have. It is then that we know how much we are loved. This gift, is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it is freely given to us, if we take the present of salvation into our hands, untie the ribbon of faith, open the beautiful wrapping that is the Sacred Scriptures, and uncover the Helper, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit present to us in the Sacraments. It is then, that we fully live our life in Christ, as the Apostles did, it is then, that we are equipped to witness about the Good News and the Salvation we have been given, so that others can gaze upon the same wrapping, and receive the very same gift.
Pentecost is known as the Birthday of the Church, because it is at this time, after Jesus’ resurrection, and after His Ascension into Heaven, that the Apostles receive the Helper, the Comforter, that they were promised by Christ. Now, at this moment, the Apostles are fully equipped for the perilous task of Spreading the Good News to the whole of creation. It is now, that the Holy Spirit influences and guides the Apostles, and every Christian to do the work God asks of us, to live out our vocation by following Jesus’ commission to teach His Good News to the whole world.
At our confirmation, after our baptism, we were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. We received this gift just as the Apostles did, but it is up to us to open the wrapping and make use of it. The Apostles made use of their reception of this gift, if they didn’t, if they kept that gift to themselves, then we would not be here today. The Good News of Salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven has been transmitted from one person to another through the centuries. The torch has been passed to each of us in this day, and age. To those who have received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, our job, our commission, our duty is to mimic the example of Jesus Christ and of His Apostles, our job is to share that gift with everyone we meet.
If we stay true to the gift-giver, if our thirst is continually for Him, if we continually make use of our gift, then our hearts will overflow with the source of life, and those waters will touch everyone we meet. Jesus said, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” We cannot give what we do not have, we cannot adhere to Jesus’ commands, if we do not thirst for Him. But when we come to Jesus, and drink deeply of His living water, read diligently His word, follow closely His commands, and pray to Him in secret, then from our hearts will flow rivers of living water that will quench the thirst of everyone we meet. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, to guide us to be Jesus’ hands and feet, so that through us, He can continue to build up the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman 2017 Homily

We are all hungry for something, we all have thirsts and desires to fill the the voids we each carry. Some of us search for love, others money, some people like power, others just want a good friend they can share themselves with. It doesn’t matter how happy or content we seem, it doesn’t matter if we are even consciously aware of this void, but there is something that each one of us is lacking. With enough quiet time and personal reflection, we will know what our personal challenges are.
The question is then, what do we subconsciously seek to complete us? What is it that we search out, that we desire, what are we hungry for to fill our void? We can fill our void with all sorts of things, both good and uplifting, and sinful and degrading. But no matter which way we fill our void, if we encounter the right person who can expose to us what we lack, what we seek, then the veil will be lifted and we will see ourselves as we really are, not as we think ourselves to be.
The Samaritan Woman was going about her daily business, getting water to fill her temporal needs. She was not actively searching for a solution to her spiritual problems, she was not even aware that she had spiritual problems—until, she encountered someone “who told her all that she ever did.”
The Samaritan people are a deviation from the Tradition of the Israelites. This group intermarried with pagans and mixed 5 male deities, each named Baal, with their understanding of the One True God. By doing this, they still retained some hope of salvation, but sinned by breaking the commandment to have no gods beside the One True God. This woman, in addition to being a Samaritan, also had 5 husbands similar to the 5 gods, and is currently not in a marriage contract with the man she keeps company with. Her lack of commitment, this constant changing and searching for something that will satisfy her unconscious desire for truth, fulfillment, happiness, and salvation, has left her in a constant state of flux, and she is looking for something that is living, and eternal.
But in her state of wandering and thirst, she encountered someone she did not expect. She is confronted with a man who says that He can give her living water, and that this living water will forever quench the thirst of the one who drinks of it, and that this water will overflow from those who partake of it, and produce eternal life. “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst.” It is Jesus Christ who offers the water of regeneration, the water of rebirth in Baptism, the water that will quench our insatiable thirst, “that will become in us, a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
It is only in Jesus Christ and through His Church that our subconscious hunger and thirst can fully be satiated. It is only when we allow Jesus Christ to show us the error of our hunger, and the error of filling our void with things that produce death, that we will clearly see the true food and true drink that will lead us to eternal life. And when we taste this eternal food and drink, just like the Samaritan woman, we will not be able to keep it for ourselves, but we will want to tell everyone about how It fed us in a way that we will never be hungry again, and that we will never be thirsty again; because we have been fed with the living water of Jesus Christ.