Good morning, everyone.
It’s a great joy to be with you here at Saint Charles as we welcome into our community.
I’m sorry I got to get this right. I’m sorry. Olivia Ray and Margot Michel.
Yeah. I should know who I am welcoming into the community, but I guess I have a little bit of a pass because I haven’t been around for a while.
But I understand that, Georgia. Owes Francis a lot of money because she bet that I could last six months in the monastery and she won.
So, Francis, I know you’re hiding, but pay up.
Okay. Anyway, so for those of you who don’t know either me or my story, I was spending time exploring religious life in different monasteries.
And I have actually and now seriously concerning the learning going to Berkeley, California, and spending time there at an urban monastery.
But my stories for another day. But I will say one thing about my story.
And on a personal level, I felt that the gospel today was very providential for many reasons, one of them being the fact that when you follow Jesus or when you want to follow Jesus with all your heart, there’s certain types of demands that the Lord presents to you, and you have a choice whether to accept those demands or not.
And I know when Jesus when this these disciples are saying, Lord, I want to follow you, but first let me say goodbye to my family. Let me bury my father. It was very hard for someone like myself to understand how do I follow the Lord and still be close to my family?
And I think it’s something I’m still trying to figure out, because I don’t know if that was exactly the type of demand the Lord was asking for me.
So all you do is ask for your prayers as I continue this journey,
because it was providential that this past week I was on vacation with my family and I knew that somehow this has to still be part of my formation.
Somehow this still has to be part of where I need to be in the world.
And it looks as if here I live, it’s now it’s Margaux.
Margaux. I get the strain. Margaux definitely needs her family as well in order just to survive.
But on a deeper level, this reading is so relevant to what we’re celebrating.
Because I know you guys played a role in bringing Olivia and Margaux into this world, but ultimately, at the end of the day, life is such a mystery as to why we’re here.
And what baptism simply does is affirm something that already is that our lives are not our own and that
we have a special type of grace working in our lives to help us navigate the craziness of our world.
And that’s what happens at baptism, the assurance that God loves your children more than you can ever love them.
And I know that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes because we think that parents love their kids more than anyone else, but God loves them more.
And when you feel like you’re losing control, which you feel will, you probably already have felt like that’s the time to lean into the providential father who actually will give you all the strength and all the grace that you need to give to your children.
What he wants to give them through you.
Because it’s not you, it’s him working through you, which is exactly what brings us to the altar and to receiving the Eucharist.
We become one with Jesus to work that muscle within us to know that we are meant to be Jesus to each other.
He gives us a certain type of strength you’ve all experienced in some way, shape or form.
When you said something that you didn’t think about saying, but it was the right word at the right time that the person had to hear.
You know what?
When you are in situations where if you were given that on an abstract level, what you would do in that moment, you probably wouldn’t know what to do.
But in the moment, you had heroic courage to do something.
That’s all a sign that our lives are not our own, that God Jesus works in and through us to bring about His will in our world, not our will.
And lastly, I would say these readings are providential because of what we have experienced this past Friday.
We all know it’s in the news. I don’t have to get into the details because quite frankly, I don’t even know all the details.
But I do know that the Supreme Court ruling has caused so much pain for people.
People are troubled. And, of course, we know people are celebrating.
But the one thing I could offer today is that wherever we are with this, whatever emotions we’re dealing with with this,
the one thing I keep coming back to is that strong emotions, wherever they are, are speaking directly to some insecurity within us, speaking to some type of fear within us, whether we’re losing a right or whether we’re thinking that somehow human laws are strong enough to prevail.
It all indicates some type of lack of confidence that God’s in charge.
And as a people of God who affirm the great love that we experience in Jesus.
The one thing I would offer on this day is that we are called to love, period.
We are called to love whoever.
Whenever, however. And most especially, we’re call to love those we disagree with, not because we agree with them, but because we know that their lives are a mystery just like ours, and that in some way hidden sense they reveal to us Jesus just as much as the person that we love and we agree with.
That’s how Catholics can be countercultural.
That’s how Christians can be countercultural. Not because they take a certain stand or are on a certain side or have a certain type of ideology.
But because they love. And they love only because they allow Jesus to work through them to be the means of love.
They have given up trying to live life on their own.
They’ve given up even trying to love on their own. They simply said, I give up so that I can be who I meant to be.
The very presence of Jesus Christ, the hidden presence of Jesus Christ in our world, just as hidden as the presence of Jesus Christ is on the altar.
Saint Paul gives it to us brilliantly in the second reading, when he speaks so much about allow the spirit to work through you because the Spirit will rise above the flesh, the spirit will rise above your human emotions and allow those emotions to be channeled and processed for God’s glory.
None of us live this life on our own. The baptism that we’re going to celebrate proves that.
But that baptismal graces just don’t happen once that water is poured on someone.
They happen each and every day. When we say I give up trying to be in control.
So no matter what you’re dealing with this day and maybe the Supreme Court case means absolutely nothing to you right now.
But I can guarantee you, we’re all dealing with some level in security, something where we’re just not fully throwing our trust.
But Jesus himself said, even I, the son of man, have no place to lay my head.
Even Jesus shows us that he had to trust just for the very next hill to lay on.
If we’re called to be Christ, it’s that level of trust in a providential father.
The one father who does never abandons us because it’s he who has given us life in the first place.
Amen. Amen. Okay, maybe I have to ask you more questions.
Are we going to be people who love yes or no? Amen.
Okay, let’s actually do this and bring two beautiful young children into God’s great family that he’s already has for them.