What’s This Site For!

July 17th, 2017

Welcome to Deacon Larry’s Homily Website.  Deacon Larry Brockman’s  home parish is Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida.  This site contains all of Deacon Larry’s Homilies organized by date.  There are three major categories- Holy Family Sunday Homilies; Holy Family Daily Homilies; and Westminster Tower Homilies.  You are welcome to read and download any homily.  Comments are also welcome. God Bless!

This site has been up for a couple of years now, and I see that there are a number of subscribers.  However, nobody ever comments on these homilies.  Please, I do welcome your comments.  They would help me to be more relevant to user needs!

Cooperating With God’s Purpose

July 16th, 2017

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 55: 10-11; rom 8: 18-23; Mt 13: 1-23
Deacon Larry Brockman

You know, God’s purpose is really very simple and clear. Isaiah sums it up perfectly: “It (that is, His Word) shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it.” Thus, no matter what anyone tries to do to the contrary, Including the Caesars, the Vikings, the Vandals, and the Napoleon’s of the past; or the Stalins or Hitlers or Bin Ladens or Putins in current times; ultimately God’s Word will return to Him fulfilled. That is God’s intent and purpose: His will will be done.
The questions that remain for us are how well will we cooperate in helping accomplish the Word, and how long will that take. Paul makes it crystal clear, that although we may have to suffer in cooperating with Jesus’ Word, the rewards are incomparable and involve everlasting happiness. That’s what he means when he says that all creation is groaning as we await for the redemption of our bodies.
Well then, how can we cooperate? Today’s Gospel is all about how we respond to the word of God. If we respond properly to God’s Word, then we are cooperating. Parables are rich in ambiguous and multiple layers of meaning. But what is interesting about this parable is that Jesus deciphers many of those layers of meaning for us in plain ordinary language. We don’t have to speculate on them.
First Jesus talks about why he uses parables in the first place. He says it’s because people look but don’t see or understand; and they listen, but do not hear. So, we have to be disposed to listen and understand.
Now all of you folks are here today. You are willing and anxious to hear the word of God, right. But there is more to it than that. Jesus is really talking about a disposition of the heart.
Where is your heart this morning? Is it focused on what you are going to be doing after Mass? Perhaps it’s focused on the baseball game this afternoon; or the gathering you are planning tonight? Or even the beach trip or picnic you are planning? We owe God our undivided attention right now as we hear the Word of God. Else, we may hear, but not understand.
Now notice that the seed, which represents the Word of God, is scattered just about everywhere. So everyone is exposed to the word of God. Jesus explanations bear on the reason, or ultimately, the excuses, for why no fruit is born of that seed.
As Jesus unravels the meaning of the parable, we learn that the seed, or Word of God, is heard but not understood by some; others hear it, and initially respond, but when they are challenged, they fall away because they have no roots; others yet receive the word amongst thorns, that is distractions, and so they easily cave in to the distractions of this world. Only those who receive the word with the right disposition, the rich soil, produce fruit.
Now, as we listened to this parable, my bet is that most of us quickly dismissed how some of those excuses fit us. But maybe that’s not really true. Maybe all of us are a little bit guilty of each one of the excuses. So let’s talk about each one.
First, lack of understanding: If you think that you can come here once a month; or even once a week, and truly understand the Word of God, you are kidding yourselves. Real understanding comes with familiarity. You have got to be familiar with the Word of God to really understand it. Let me ask you this: What do you read and what kind of TV or movies do you watch? Do you do any spiritual reading? Do you read or study the Bible? Or are you mostly watching and listening to products of “Pop culture”- the latest whiz-bang surrealistic movies and secular music? If your diet is the latter, you won’t really understand the Word of God- it will just go in one ear and out the other, because as soon as you leave here, your senses and attentions will be reinforced with what you normally feed them. Your fleeting exposure to the Word will most likely be lost- “Out of sight; out of mind”.
Then there is the matter of our roots. What are your roots in your Faith? The deeper your roots- the more you know about and embrace your faith. Then you will be better equipped to fight temptations and allurement. That means the more you read about and know God, the more you spend time with and pray to God; then the better off you will be in resisting temptations, because like a friend in need, God will be nudging you when you are tempted.
Next are those who are dazzled by the wonderful things of this world- indulgence in pleasures, money, sex, power, pride; all the things that give fleeting happiness, but not lasting fulfillment. Once again, where is your heart? What is it that really gives you joy, real joy? I’ll bet that most of us feel the best when we know we are helping others; when we know that we have responded to the voice of our conscience; when we are aligned with the directions God nudges us in. The joys of this world are always followed by tomorrow’s hangover, aren’t they? But doing God’s will brings us peace and true contentment.
We all have an opportunity to be part of something truly magnificent- the Word accomplishing God’s purpose. God is after each one of us 24/7 with nudges and inspirations that help the word of God achieve its end. We have only to pay attention and listen- a child calling us; someone in need in our neighborhood; our aged parent or friend. When you hear it, take heed. It is an echo of your salvation in the making.

Funeral Reflection for Hank Caruso

July 14th, 2017

Funeral Eulogy for Hank Caruso
Mt 5: 1-12a (Beatitudes)
Deacon Larry Brockman

It has been my pleasure to know Hank for over 12 years now. My wife Jane and I met the Curusos in Tennessee at St. Francis in Townsend while on vacation, and quickly learned of some common ground- our roots in Orlando and a common friend in the Diaconate. Hank and Jane were very helpful to Jane and me whenever we visited our place in Tennessee, right across the road from their house.
Hank was the middle son of an Italian immigrant and his second wife. Hank was born in 1939. He grew up going to school at St. James Cathedral and later Bishop Moore High School. After Hank married Jane, they settled along the South Florida Coast, but returned to the Orlando area a few years later, where Hank and Jane lived in Winter Park and raised their family for 36 years. Hank was a Corvette owner for over 20 years, an avid boat owner, and a water sports enthusiast. He worked as a Biomedical Engineer at Philips; but Hank was one of those people who worked to live; not lived to work. He rarely talked about his job in the time I knew him. But Hank took his Catholic faith seriously; he was a Eucharistic Minister and a very active member of the men’s club at Sts. Peter and Paul for many years.
Hank had a dream for when he retired. He wanted to live in the East Tennessee mountains, relax, hike a bit, and farm. So, in the 2003/2004 time frame, the Caruso’s left Orlando and built their retirement home halfway along the Foothills Parkway at some 2000 feet elevation in the Top of the World above Maryville Tennessee. It is 10 degrees cooler there than in Knoxville in the summer; and yet still relatively mild in the winter. Hank bought a tractor, and cleared enough land for a fair-sized garden. And so, Hank had a good 10 years to live his dream. Daily, he used his tractor and tended his land. I can remember tales of bumper crops of butternut squash, grapes, and tomatoes; and lots of hiking. Indeed, I remember a garage full of squash! And the Carusos took us along on some of those hikes. Hank also helped maintain order and peace in the Top of the World Community as an officer of the Homeowners Group.
Hank became a Reader at St. Francis, and a member of the Parish Finance Team. He was a key player in their effort to establish a parish there when St. Francis was a Mission church. Hank was also quite helpful to the Deacon there, Deacon Mike Nestor. Although Mike couldn’t be here today, he asked me to pass along his respects.
Jane and I really enjoyed the 10 years or so of visits to our vacation spot and Jane and Hanks company and hospitality. We hiked together, played together, and chewed the fat around our fire pit as retired folk do. We shared our family experiences; we relished in the photos of Hank and Janes tour of Sicily and the hospitality of his family; we watched how kind and generous Hank and Jane were in caring for Janes’s 90+ year old mom for many years. We were also witnesses to the onset of Hank’s Parkinson’s like disease. We watched it slowly but surely eat away at Hank’s vitality. We never heard Hank complain. Indeed, he endured his infirmity with the utmost of dignity. But we could feel the pain that they both experienced when it became clear they were going to have to leave their mountain home and retirement dream to return to Orlando and be close to family.
Over the last two years, we have remained close to the Carusos with frequent dinners out and evenings of cards. And in that time, we saw Hank maintain his spirit in the face of his terrible disease.
Our Gospel today talked about the Beatitudes. Life is all about learning to live the Beatitudes so that when we meet our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be ready for the Kingdom of God. It seems to me that Hank Caruso learned that lesson well. Time and circumstances led him to humble acceptance, generosity, mercifulness, peacemaking, and other aspects of the beatitudes. Rest in peace now Hank; enjoy your heavenly reward. We will all miss you.

Aligning Our Work Ethic to God’s Will

July 13th, 2017

Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Gen 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5; Mt 10: 7-15
Deacon Larry Brockman

One of the foundations of our American society is a good work ethic. It’s that conviction we have that we can do wonderful things if only we find our thing and apply ourselves to it judiciously. Early on, we are all taught that if we go to school and learn a skill or expertise to our liking; then we can do it; we can become self-sufficient and successful in society and make our own destiny. We even pray that God will bless our efforts to do whatever it is that we want to do. We are taught that we are free to choose our vocation and run with it.
But our readings today add some twists to that whole idea of living life that way. Because the stirrings inside of us to discover “our thing” are a battle between God’s word and spirit on the one hand; and the devil and his forces on the other hand. If our primary motivation for what we do is “self” fulfillment; then the devil is winning that battle, and we need to be cautious. But if our motivation is based on seeking God’s will for us, then we can be comfortable we are on the right track.
Today’s readings have some interesting perspectives for us about this battle. In the Gospel, Jesus says: “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give”. Yes, each of us has received gifts that we have not had to pay for. They are our talents; our likes; and even our limitations. So it is quite natural for us to move towards those things we are good at and away from the things that limit us; we are drawn to the things God has graced us with. But then there is the other part- “without cost you are to give”. So, these talents are not just for us, but for the benefit of others as well.
Therein lies the key to discerning how we use what we were given without cost. For example, the disciples were given the power to cure and drive out demons. It was not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of those who needed it to recognize the Kingdom of God. In today’s world then, a financial adviser’s success in the eyes of God is not whether he makes a lot of money for himself, but rather, whether he helps a lot of people. This kind of discernment is needed in each of our lives- doctors, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, teachers, engineers, whatever.
Now sometimes we have a feeling of being trapped in life. Despite our best efforts, we look back on life and we see that we are in a job or career or situation where we sense that things are not right. Our inner voice tells us we are on the wrong track. And we resist making a change because we are afraid. Just what can we do?
Well there’s another major message imbedded for us in today’s reading on the story of Joseph and his brothers. Our lives, from God’s perspective, are a “zero sum” process. No matter how disastrous your experience in life is up to now; if you are humble enough to recognize and repent of your mistakes, then God views the process going forward as more important than whatever has happened in the past. Not only that, God can turn disaster into triumph for you.
And so, as we listen to the deplorable mess that Joseph’s brothers caused by selling their brother Joseph into slavery and lying to Jacob; we see how God turned the whole situation around. Joseph becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man, and in Joseph’s own words: “It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”
So, no matter how disastrous you may think your situation is, take heart, because God is there for you with a solution. It may mean some pain- certainly Joseph and his brothers felt pain. But he is there for you nevertheless. It is never too late to get on God’s page for you.

When People of Faith Pray Together

July 6th, 2017

Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Gen 22: 1b-19; Mt 9: 1-8
Deacon Larry Brockman

“When Jesus saw their Faith…”. That really caught my attention this morning. Picture the scene in your mind for just a moment. Jesus gets off the boat and a large crowd approaches him with a paralyzed man on a stretcher. Then try to capture just what there might have been about “them”, the people who were carrying the man, that projected great Faith? Was it their great numbers, their enthusiasm, their persistence? This, by the way is the same incident described in Mark, the one where the paralytic was lowered through the roof. So yes, these people were determined and persistent.

Or was it something that Jesus could just sense in the air- an intangible group sense of sincerity, hope, trust, even deferral amongst the people. Maybe it was all of these things. Think of a time when the sense of a crowd that you observed spoke more than anything else.
Now we too, are a people of Faith. We are sincere, committed, believers. We come together, we pray together, we know each other, we support each other, just as the people in the small town of Capernaum did. And all of us, yes every single one of us, has our share of trials and sufferings that we bear. And when we pray, we usually pray for specific solutions to our trials and specific reliefs of our sufferings. After all, that only makes sense.
Now all of us know someone we would like to collectively lower into Jesus house and ask for a healing just as the people bearing the paralytic did. They had one and only one thing in mind: this poor man was paralyzed and they sincerely wanted to see him cured. We would have only one thing in mind: our friend or relative is suffering greatly and we really believe that Jesus can heal them.

Now call back the vision of this incident in your mind. Much to everyone’s surprise, Jesus does not heal the paralytic at first. Rather, he forgives his sins. Think about that for a moment. Jesus, who is God made man, and who can look into the minds and hearts of all of the people there and the poor paralytic, decides that what is really needed is forgiveness of this man’s sins. How many times do we pray on behalf of someone else and feel that our prayers are not answered? Well, those folks who lowered the man to Jesus must have felt the same way.

The cynics in the crowd, the religious leaders, noticed this immediately, and accused Jesus of Blasphemy. You see, they believed that nobody but God could forgive sins. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that Jesus was playing games with those people. I believe his immediate response, the forgiveness of sins, was what God mandated. But given the challenge, Jesus used the situation to make an important point: that it was easier in human terms to forgive sins than to heal a paralytic. And so, Jesus went on to cure the paralysis to make the point that he was God.

Nevertheless, we can miss a major teaching in this incident if we concentrate on the cure and not Jesus’ first response. The fact is that our prayers, especially the sincere, faithful prayers of groups of people- people like families suffering as a result of the illness or infirmity of a loved one; or communities suffering from the effects of some man made or natural disaster; or groups suffering the effect of discrimination- their prayers are heard by God and they are answered. But they may not be answered in the way all of us hope or expect.

If we are lucky, we are sometimes enlightened on how God answered our prayers. We sense that things came out for the best sometime later. But in the short term, our faith may be tested. Isn’t this exactly the case in the story of Abraham and Isaac in the first reading?
So, I urge all of us to hang in their when we pray together as a group- for our families, our community, and for our nation. God hears our prayers, always, when we pray together with great faith and sincerity.

Burnt Offerings In Today’s World

June 8th, 2017

Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time
Tob 6: 10-11; 7: 1b-e, 9-17; 8: 4-9a; Mark 12: 28-34
Deacon Larry Brockman

Wouldn’t you love to hear Jesus say these words to you: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” Just what was it about the Scribe that prompted such a compliment from Jesus:

Well, the essence of it is this: This Scribe understood that loving God and neighbor with his heart and mind is worth much more than any sacrifice he might offer up. I think it’s worth digging into what all of this really means to us today.

First, notice that Jesus’ compliment is not over the words as much as it is how he read what was in the Scribe’s heart. Jesus senses that the Scribe really understands the meaning of love of God. He had internalized it; it was integral to his being. And that is probably because Jesus had gone through that experience himself. He had gone off into the desert after his Baptism by John and came back dedicated to loving God and neighbor. That was the essence of his preaching- the greatest commandment. So, Jesus could relate to how the Scribe projected his words; there was a sort of “kinship” in Spirit between them.

That kinship addresses what wasn’t said more than anything that was said. What wasn’t said, but what was meant, was that love of God and neighbor means deferring one’s self. And this deference is motivated by a love of God so strong, that His will, not one’s own, is one’s primary focus.

By contrast, consider the idea of sacrifices of burnt offerings. That’s hard for us to imagine. After all, we don’t do anything like that these days. We don’t slaughter, burn, and sacrifice animals as an offering to God.

But just for a moment consider the motivation of these Old Testament burnt offerings. These sacrifices were done to gain favor with God. Someone would offer God his best ram in a burnt sacrifice in the hopeful expectation that God would do one of the following: forgive him a transgression; heal him from some infirmity; or help him to achieve some goal. You get the picture- they were kind of directed at fulfilling something for the person making the offering. The focus of the burnt offering was on one’s own agenda.

Jesus turned all of this upside down in the Gospel. His sacrifice was not to gain favor with God- He already had favor with the Father. He sacrificed his own life for all of us. Jesus deferred to God’s will always- such was his love of God and neighbor.

Now while it is true that we don’t burn sacrifices to gain favors; we do, in fact, focus many of our prayers and petitions on our agenda, and we even make incredible sacrifices for our loved ones and children. We ask for favors for ourselves- a healing, success in the work we do, help in finding a suitable partner. And we extend those prayers and petitions for others. We even do many things for others in deference to ourselves. We ask the Lord to heal our friends and family, bless the work they do, and bless their relationships. We help them when they are in need. There is nothing at all wrong with any of that- as far as it goes.

But, our focus in all of that needs to be on trusting in God and loving others even if it means deferring our own interests. Oftentimes that means trusting God in difficult situations to the point that we give up control. That is hard- and indeed, it was hard on Jesus.

I go to the hospital to help the chaplain two days a week. I see people all the time there who have made incredible sacrifices for other people. These sacrifices have stressed them out so much that they have affected their own health. Even when they are suffering, they are trying to maintain control of everything that is going on in their lives. This is done out of a real sense of responsibility. But, they are like the folks in the Old Testament who offered the best of what they had as a burnt offering hoping God would favor them, so that they could maintain control.

God sometimes has mysterious plans that we don’t understand. We have to love God enough to trust that when we reach our own limits it is necessary to trust the love and providence of God. At some point we have to let go and let God take over. We can’t be in control of complex situations when we are incapacitated ourselves. Rather, we have to love God enough to trust in his mysterious providence and let God be in control. Our motivation has to be love of God and neighbor, not love of our plan for our neighbor.

It is with this trust in God that we will be truly close to the Kingdom of God.

On Being Sons of God!

June 1st, 2017

Thursday of Seventh Week of Easter
Acts 22: 30, 23: 6-11; Jn 17: 20-26
Dc. Larry Brockman

Such a beautiful prayer!

We just heard Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper on behalf of us all. By this time in his life, Jesus’ prayer relationship with the Father had been nurtured and fine honed. And even though Jesus was still fully human, and had all the same limitations we have as humans, He was able to see God’s mission for him with ultimate clarity. This prayer displays how his mission relates to all of us.

I was particularly struck by this line: “Father, they are your gift to me.” That is because that line kind of sums up the Love Jesus has for all of us. This man is about to suffer incredible pain and indignity at the hands of evil men and institutions all because he was faithfully preaching the truth of God’s love for all of us. And even our representatives on earth at the time, the Apostles, didn’t understand that. One of them was about to deny him, most of them were about to hide from him, and one of them was about to betray him. And yet, He sees them, and us, as God’s gift to him. That’s how much he loves us.

He goes on to say what he wants for us- that we may see the glory of God as he sees it. He wants to share the Kingdom of God with us This is essentially a prayer in which Jesus appeals to the Father to share his divine son-ship with us. For Jesus says: “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” In this way we are being offered the role of adopted sons and daughters of God.

That is an essential truth of our faith- that we are sons and daughters of Jesus who will share in the glory of God himself in the resurrected state after the Last Judgment. The glory that we have now as humans is a sharing in the glory of son-ship if we believe and follow Jesus.

Jesus opens this prayer to the Father by revealing to us how we might accept the offer of son-ship. For he says: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you.” First, we are have to believe in him; and second, we have to be unified. Our unity is established by membership in the Church, and by the effects of the Eucharist, Holy Communion, that we share in common each time we come to Mass.

It is good for all of us to reflect on the deep meanings of Jesus discourse. Consider these questions: Will I deny Jesus, hide from him, or even betray him going forward in my life? Or will I repent, as 11 of the Apostles did, believe in him, and accept his offer of son-ship? And will I act in unity through the Church to spread God’s offer by word and deed to all mankind.

That reflection, hopefully, is a beautiful prayer of Thanksgiving for Jesus prayer and love of us.

Being a Witness for Christ

May 28th, 2017

Ascension
Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1: 15-23; Lk 24: 44-53
Dc. Larry Brockman

You know, I experienced a kind of “aha” experience when I first read the readings for today.

When Jesus was alive and living amongst his disciples, his prayers and meditations and communications with God the Father were very much like our own are right now. Jesus was bound by the same limitations that all of us have as mere humans because Jesus was fully human. But over time, and with constant prayer and meditation, Jesus came to know God the Father and trust in him. His relationship with God became very close- much closer than ours. And Jesus came to know who he was- the Son of God and the Messiah. But still, he was like us, so his ability to communicate with the Father remained limited. As a result, there was a lack of clarity, of certainty, of completeness in his knowledge and in his words. Jesus’ ability to communicate God’s plan to us was thus limited. Notice that he even admitted that when he said that “Only the Father knows”.

But after the Resurrection, Jesus was fully divine, and had full knowledge of God and everything God the Father knew. And so, Jesus words after the Resurrection are powerful and direct messages to us, unfiltered and unencumbered by any of his former human limitations. That’s what makes the post Resurrection accounts in the Gospels over the last six weeks so special. The words convey important messages to us and they convey them in a manner that we can understand within the human limitations that we have. They are direct words from God. Such is the case for the Ascension.

In today’s account from Acts, Jesus finds the Apostles still in a state of doubt and uncertainty about what his role as the Messiah was all about. They wanted to know if the Kingdom of Israel was going to be restored right then. Jesus answer is very cryptic: “It is not for you to know”. You see, he is not talking about a worldly restoration of a Kingdom at all. Rather, he is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. Then he tells the Apostles that they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit and that they are to be his witnesses over the entire world.

Do you know what it means to be a witness for Jesus? It means two things: First, it means that the events in the Gospel need to be retold, repeated, and remembered for all in the future. The promise of salvation and everlasting life needs to be repeated. But it also means that the way of life that Jesus admonished needs to be lived by his witnesses. His witnesses need to bear witness to both his testimony and his way of life.

The Gospel of Matthew says something similar. First, Jesus says that all power has been given to him on heaven and earth. This statement validates that Jesus is now fully divine and has full knowledge of God the Father and His will. Then Jesus says that the Apostles must go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This direction from Jesus is one of the most direct messages from God that we have received. It is after the Resurrection, after Jesus has been fully empowered and is no longer encumbered by human nature.

So, this is what all of us have been commissioned to do: To be Witnesses for Christ, and to convert the World by Baptizing all nations. And Baptism means confessing our sins, repenting of them, and dying to self. Through Baptism we are all reborn by water and the spirit to a new life dedicated to Jesus and the Church.

Now, all of us have this mission; not just some of us, but all of us. It is a life-long commitment and mission.

In the very beginning of his Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul commissioned the first Christians in Ephesus by blessing them and sending them forth to perform this Baptismal Mission. It was a beautiful blessing that requested that the Ephesian converts be given wisdom and knowledge of God,and that they work through the Body of Christ, His Church. All of you gathered here today are part of the body of Christ, his Church. You are the witnesses of both the events of the Gospel and the way of Christ for this community. You have been blessed with the knowledge and wisdom of Christ.

Many of your companions will be depressed, disheartened, or even despairing in the face of old age and physical or mental impairments. But your Faith as Christians can save them. You are the witnesses that they need to realize that God loves them and has an incredible future in store for them. You are their messengers of hope and a joyful future. Amen.

Waiting “A Little While” Longer.

May 25th, 2017

Thursday of Sixth Week of Easter
Acts 18:1-8; Jn 16: 16-20
Dc. Larry Brockman

“A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me”. These were puzzling remarks to the disciples. And even more puzzling was Jesus’ explanation. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Surely, the words that Jesus spoke in today’s Gospel were intended for his Apostles and disciples. The first little while thus corresponds to the time leading to his Crucifixion; and indeed, after that Jesus would be gone from them and all would seem lost.they would be weeping and mourning. And the second “little while” refers to Jesus appearances after the Resurrection. Indeed, their grief would turn to joy.

But Jesus’ words in this Gospel were also ultimately directed to all of us. For the “little while” that we live in this world, we will not “see” God the Father nor His Son in the same way that the disciples and Apostles saw Jesus in the flesh. The world and its disciples have in fact rejoiced in that, because Jesus did not “restore” any Jewish Kingdom nor did he establish any theocracy. The secular world, under the orchestration of the devil, continues to play havoc with mankind whenever and wherever it can. And so, we weep and mourn and we suffer, not unlike Jesus suffered at the hands of evil men.

But for those of us who follow Jesus, our sorrow will turn to Joy because we will see God “in a little while”. Compared to eternity, any lifespan here as a human is just a little while. And so any pain, suffering, or boredom we have to endure in this world is just for “a little while” in the end.

Recently I saw a man in the hospital suffering from an incurable disease. He had listed himself as a Catholic but had rejected the Church and God 30 years ago. He rejected God because his father suffered greatly, and despite his fervent prayer for his father, His father died. The man could not forgive God for what happened to his father. It has been that way for 30 years.

Now, he is suffering from an incurable disease himself and is facing the end of life. He has denied God and is in a panic. I could sense the horror and despair that he was feeling as he shared his life with me; he was scared that he could not be reconciled with God. I prayed over him and told him about God’s infinite mercy.

Fortunately, all of us believe in a God who is infinitely merciful; a God who loves every creature he made, and is always trying to get us back in harmony with Him. He will forgive us anything, as long as we forgive anyone who wronged us. The mercy and love of God are always there for us going forward as long as we repent and embrace Jesus beginning right now.

And the best part is that although we may have to grieve for a while, our grief will be turned to joy in just “a little while”.

Passing On Our Heritage

May 9th, 2017

Benediction
Dc. Larry Brockman

Last Sunday, 130 children made their First Communion here. And this coming Sunday, another 130 will make their First Communion here. It’s a very special time for these children and their families because the core of our Catholic Faith is being passed on to the next generation.

You see, we are all called at Baptism to live as witnesses to our Catholic Faith. Witnesses are those who actively display their Faith and spread it to others. Witnesses are not reclusive, they are not silent. Witnesses are active in this world; they are very much part of the world. But today’s society is corrupted with doubt and cynicism and secular values. Our children need food for their journey. They need the Eucharist.

Today, we are gathered to adore and worship Jesus who is truly present body and soul and divinity In the Eucharist. It is essential that we all recognize that the Eucharist is the life giving food that sustains us in our journey as evangelizers in this world.
When Anna notified all of us about today’s Benediction, she described the first apparition at Fatima some 100 years ago. The light of Christ touched those children. We can be touched by Christ in a similar way when we consume the Eucharist. It penetrates us to the core; and can enable us to do God’s will for us. It is our food for the rest of our journey. Let us pray that all of us will truly believe that:

Lord, shed from us all vestiges of our unbelief. So that the light of Christ will consume us in the Eucharist And give us the courage and the power To vanquish the evil in our midst, by our words and deeds in your name. Amen.