Father Brian Konopa’s Homily 2019-07-06 the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

By | September 3, 2019

– I have a memory
I’ll never lose. Years ago when my brother
had just become a dad, and in a visit, he was
sleeping on a couch with his baby
daughter on his chest, sound asleep over his heart. And those make
the best pictures. The image evokes feelings of
peace and security and comfort. Now whenever, or if ever,
you’ve seen those photos, it might be easier to imagine
one’s self as the parent, but can you see
yourself as the infant, and if so, who’s heart
are you resting upon? If you can’t imagine
yourself as an infant, I wonder why. Is it kind of a sign that maybe we’re a little too independent, a little too self-reliant. Just can’t see ourselves as
like some helpless little baby. I mean, as we grow
and we mature, we wanna work
toward independence. You know, as little kids,
we wanna be a “big boy.” “I’m a big girl.” And if somebody is teasing us, they might say, “What’s
wrong with you?” “Do you need daddy
to protect you?” “You wanna run home to mommy?” “You little baby.” “I’m not a baby!” And then as we get
to be teenagers, we wanna be treated like adults, and then when we
get to be adults, we realize things don’t
always go so smoothly, and there are times
when life gets bumpy. We don’t always know
how to ask for help, and there are times when we
lose our loved ones to death, and we miss them and the
support they offered. And when we live long
enough and we lose not only our grandparents
but also our parents, who doesn’t, in difficult
moments at life, at least think of one of them, and we really miss them. Seeing their eyes, their smile, their laughter,
their encouragement. Just wanting to ask them a
piece of advice one more time, especially when
life gets difficult. In the first
reading from Isaiah, God’s people have been exiled
for a couple generations, and as they’re returning, some of them are old
enough to remember what Jerusalem and the
temple once looked like, but they also saw it in
ruins, including the temple, when they were pushed off
to a foreign land in exile. But God in His providence
miraculously brings them back to Jerusalem, but it’s
a city still in ruins, including the temple. And Isaiah says,
“Rejoice with Jerusalem “and be glad because of her. “All you who love her,
exalt, exalt with her, “all you who were
mourning over her.” But it’s in ruins. Lord, it’s hard … too hard. And sometimes life
gets this way. The job, it was supposed
to be a good fit. The marriage, it was
supposed to be a perfect fit. Friends are supposed to
look out for one another. Family is supposed to
be there to support through thick and thin. The young aren’t
supposed to die. It’s hard, too hard sometimes, and God says, “Lo, I
will spread prosperity “over Jerusalem like a river.” In the Hebrew text, the
word “prosperity” is “shalom” which means peace, harmony,
a thriving fulfillment. And God says, “Lo,
I will spread shalom “over Martha like a river. “I will spread shalom over
Norbert like a river.” God is saying to you, “I will spread shalom
over you like a river.” Peace, harmony,
thriving fulfillment. All this is yours and
mine if we’re willing to be like a baby. If we’re willing
to be like a baby. God says as nurslings,
babies who are nursing, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap as a
mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. God will comfort you and me
like a mother her infant child when we choose to
rest upon the Lord as a baby rests upon
the heart of her dad. We grow and mature and we try to be independent, sometimes too independent, and we feel this mistake when
life gets hard, too hard. Jesus in the Gospel said
to the 72 disciples, “Behold I am sending you
like lambs among wolves.” Okay, so we are Jesus’
disciples today, so does it make sense
that we would act like we have the
power of a rhinoceros? Jesus needs us. He said the harvest is abundant,
but the labors are few, but Jesus needs us to remember that we are like sheep and lambs which means we need Him. We need the good shepherd. We need God to spread shalom over us like a river. We need to remain His children, His little ones, who rest upon His heart.

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