Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, April 12, 2011 (Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent)

Transcript of homily recorded on Tuesday, April 12, 2011

By Father Tim McGowan

Well, John's Gospel is a little complicated in this particular passage, and I find that the final line, because he spoke this way many came to believe in him, I find the way he speaks in the Gospel kind of confusing; I don't know about you, but I do know this much: the first line he says, "I am going away, you will look for me, but you will die in your sin; where I am you will not come" almost seems to suggest that — and he's addressing this to the Pharisees — there's no salvation for them, that even if they go to Jesus they're going to die in their sin, and we know that that's not true. That everybody who goes to Jesus and says they're sorry receives forgiveness, and it doesn't matter when or who we are, we always find mercy and forgiveness in the Lord.

I think what the Gospel is talking about here — what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees — is that you're missing this opportunity to come to know the love of God that I'm revealing to you. And these opportunities pass. You and I are given opportunities in life and sometimes those opportunities pass and they are no more. Like, for instance, I'm looking at the second grade over here and I'm thinking, you know, if I could back to the second grade there'd be a few things that I would do differently. But I can't go back to the second grade. That opportunity is lost for me. But you second graders, you have the opportunity to have a great second grade. Now, the same applies to adults. You had time with your children at once. You had opportunities to spend time with them. That opportunity — looking around here — seems to have passed for most of us. And now we have the opportunity, perhaps, to be with the grandchildren.

But these opportunities in life come and go, and Jesus is addressing the Pharisees and he's rather stern with them about, look, you're missing the opportunity to know God's presence this day. So I'm thinking, even though the words of the Gospel might seem kind of confusing, that the simple message for me — and I have to keep it simple for me — is that Jesus is saying to me in the Gospel today there are opportunities to know Jesus today. Those opportunities will pass; they will be no more.

Don't sacrifice the opportunity today to come to know Jesus in the events and the circumstances of this day. For this day is the future's past. And we will never have the opportunity to go back and do this day again. And if we believe — and we do — in the resurrection of Christ, and that that is a reality he shares with all of us, that here today we have the opportunity to experience the risen life, that what we do this day has infinite value in God's loving plan.

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