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Weekend Homilies
A listing of recent homilies delivered at my parish.
Una lista de homilías recientes entregadas en mi parroquia.
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  • Pub Date: Oct 03, 2021 - 7:00 am
  • 10-03-2021 - 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    Hebrews 2:9
    He "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels," that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. …
    This Wednesday we had the feast day of the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael. Saturday was the feast day of the Guardian Angels. So it seems appropriate to talk about this particular line from Hebrews in connection with the angels.
    It is true that there is not much we know with any kind of certainty about the angels other than the fact that they exist. We know that all of us are assigned a guardian angel. We know that Michael fought against Satan and this resulted in Satan and his minions being cast to earth. We know that Satan was once a powerful angel. We also know that this line from Hebrews was what Satan was upset about.
    He thought it was beneath God to become a man. After all, God is more like angels than like men. It is believed that his objection to God becoming “lower than the angels” was demeaning to God. But this idea was also tied up in Satan’s own pride at who he was as an angel.
    I believe what I am about to say is an important point, but I have to admit that it is also a red flag – meaning it is my idea. I think that it would not have been wrong for Satan to have thought it was demeaning to God to become a human IF that was as far as he went. If he could have seen the humility of God in choosing to become a man he would not have been caught up in the pride that cost him his place in heaven.
    Pride and humility are often considered contentious opposites of one another. I am not in any way trying to say that we should pray for a rehabilitation of Satan’s decision to go against God. He chose to act in pride instead of humility as Michael and the other Angels have done. Look at the images we have of the angels here in the church. Their eyes are downcast. They are humbly worshiping the God who made them.
    It is this same humility that God expressed by becoming Jesus that leads these mighty beings we call angels to be in service to us. They saw the magnitude of God’s decision to become a man, and they chose to stand by God in his holiness, his humility, his glory, his Majesty, his mercy. This is what makes the good angels… good.
    It is this same humility that Jesus personified that led him to his death. Remember the scene in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus’ cry “not my will, but yours be done”. This was the ultimate act of humility!
    My favorite artist created a piece of art that depicts Jesus in the garden and an angel there to minister to him. But the angel is hovering above Jesus. The angel’s face in his hands. An angel might weep at the humility of the Man-God. A demon would sneer at it.
    Many in our world today cannot seem to understand the idea of a humble God. They cannot understand humility! They cannot understand Jesus. So it should not be a surprise that they cannot understand what we see in a God would do so much and would ask so little.
    How then must we act? Take a good look at the statues of angels we have here. For those of you who are watching on video, you will see them clearly when I move the camera to the altar. Let me ask you another question. What do you think your guardian angel is doing when you enter church? Can you imagine the multitude of angels that are here – in the church – right now? Can you imagine what they are doing?
    And probably among the most important questions I can ask right now: can you embrace the joy your guardian angel must feel to be in the presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament? The God they have chosen to serve rests here and in every Catholic Church in a more humble way than just becoming a man!
    Very soon we are going to return to times of Adoration. It is a time to spend before this most glorious and humble God. And I am ashamed to admit that I do not spend enough time in the presence of Jesus.
    The story was told of a Protestant minister who had never been in a Catholic Church. He went to visit a monastery and was being escorted around by one of the monks. They had to pass through the main chapel, and as they reached the center of the chapel, the monk turned and referenced the Tabernacle. When they left the chapel, the Protestant minister asked the monk why he did that.
    He said “I believe that Jesus Christ my Savior and my God is present there in the Tabernacle. So I stop and reference his presence, just for a moment.”
    According to the story the Protestant minister turned pale, fell against the wall, and said “if I could believe that I would move in there and never leave!” How much do we take for granted this humility of God; this God who made himself "for a little while"… "lower than the angels"?
    As we remember God’s own humility, the humility of the angels, the pride of the demons, we are called to a holiness based on the humility of God himself. And we can turn to her guardian angels asking them to remind us of our own need to stand humbly before our God.
    Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
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