After preaching at the 4 pm last night, I kept thinking about my homily. This is typical for me: no one preaching effort is ever the same. I keep praying through the readings over the weekend and gleaning more and more insights (or so I hope) as I pray with and through the Liturgy of the Hours and the celebration of the Eucharist. And so, a few more thoughts:
- “And you yourself a sword will pierce”—The image of a sword piercing Mary’s heart is so poignant for me: it has always struck me that Mary didn’t die a martyr, but she knew what it was like to have her heart broken. At the foot of the Cross, her heart is indeed split into more pieces than could ever be collected. Such images make me think of my own mother, a cancer survivor, a mother of three, a loving wife, a grieving daughter. I really do think my mother is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met – and I think it’s precisely because she has allowed her heart to be broken. I hope that someday I can trust the Lord enough to the sword of loving others pierce me to the core.
- “This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel” – There is something truly transforming about waiting – and how as ministers must we respect this! Rattle off the things the Poor People of God are waiting for: medical tests, babies, promotions, tax returns, the stint of rehab for their son or daughter to end. They too await the consolation of their own Israel – their promised land.
- Consecrated Life: I don’t have the opportunity to preach about religious and consecrated life this weekend, Malachi’s lines about purification this morning: “For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye,” make me thankful for the graciousness with which the Lord has looked upon me, calling me into Capuchin life. It also, on the 62nd anniversary of the formation of the Province of Saint Mary of the Capuchin Order, compels me to thank the Lord for the gift of so many men in brown who have gone before me.