Friends, the book of Job is one of the most profound and most challenging books in the entire Bible. In today’s reading, we see that God does not hand-wave away Job’s suffering. Rather, the Lord places profound hurt and heartache in an infinitely greater context—into his loving providence. We must not narrow our focus on our pain; we must rather open ourselves to ever greater trust.
Friends, in our Gospel today, Christ paints a picture of a growing mustard tree, under whose shade all people are invited to dwell. Jesus speaks here, using a parable, about the reign and rule of God. Even now, the kingdom of God—the kingdom that finally matters and endures—is spreading far and wide across the whole world.
Friends, for this feast of Corpus Christi, today’s readings run red, dripping in sacrificial symbolism. When we gather together for Mass, we are not calling to mind some disconnected historical incident. Rather, we spiritually and physically participate in the re-presentation of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Friends, Trinity Sunday serves as a wonderful opportunity to unpack the life-giving relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every time we make the sign of the cross, we invoke the power of the Trinity, thereby linking ourselves to the love that God is.
Friends, we come today to the marvelous feast of Pentecost, a celebration of the Holy Spirit, the Church, and evangelical preaching. Pentecost reverses the cacophonous confusion at Babel. We see various languages, cultures, and identities come into concordance under God. In the same way, we must find unity in Christ alongside our many distinctions and diversity.
Friends, with these fabulous readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter, we discover an embarrassment of riches through the exploration of God's care and concern for us. In this sermon, I delve into these marvelous texts and explicate three fundamental truths:
- God is love
- God has loved us first
- We are invited to participate in God's love through our own love and self-gift to him and one another
Friends, in our Gospel passage today, Jesus proclaims that he is the vine and we are the branches. There is give and take in this divine relationship. Not only are we rooted in Christ’s mystical body, but he endeavors to cultivate his love and mercy within our bodies. In this analogy, we find a powerful image of spiritual growth.
Friends, in today’s first reading, St. Peter tells us that there is no salvation outside of Christ. In this homily, I encourage you to let the truth of St. Peter’s statement, which challenges modern sensibilities, sink in—and further explore what this means precisely for both Christians and non-Christians.
Friends, Christ acts as an advocate for our souls through the cosmos-reorienting events of his death and Resurrection, the forging of a connection between heaven and earth. Our brother who walked the same ground and breathed the same air is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Now, in his heavenly advocacy, we find extraordinary hope.