Sixth Sunday of Easter

Homily Video

Sixth Sunday of Easter Homily Transcript

Some years ago, I was talking with my seven-year-old nephew Stephen, and during our conversation, Stephen asked, “Uncle Greg, do you know how you and God are so much alike?” I mentally polished my halo, and well, I asked him, I said, “Well no, Stephen, how are we alike?” And Stephen said, “You’re both old.” I share with you this true story, because I celebrate my 37th anniversary to the priesthood this coming week. As I reflect back on 37 years as a priest, it’s been a wonderful ride, a wonderful gift from God, but I do not feel that old.

Many years ago, as a young man, I fell in love with God. When you are young, you think you know everything. You think you know what you’re getting yourself into regarding this adventure we call life. I look past over these last 37 years. I can honestly say I did not know what I was getting myself into. I’ve truly learned to lean on God through daily prayer, and I find tremendous strength in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus, I trust in you.

I’ve also come to realize over the years, God fell in love with me first. We can say, “God, I love you,” but God responds to all of us, “But I love you more, because I’m God.” But here is another twist. Along the way, I fell in love with all of you, the people of God. The Lord says in today’s gospel, “Peace is my farewell to you. My peace is my gift to you. Do not be distressed or fearful. Peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.”

We are an Easter people. Faith is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. It’s a surrender of ourselves to God. It’s saying yes to the Lord. We get involved, because Jesus wants us to. We get involved, because Jesus taught us too. We get involved, because Jesus himself did. The blessed bread we share and the one cup we drink is the Lord, coming to us and with us in a very special way, the gift of Eucharist, because the Lord bends to touch us first.

In life, what really matters is what happens in us and not to us. And always remember the words from this John Lennon song, “Life is what happened while I was making other plans.” Let the Lord steer the ship of our life, and then hold on for a wonderful ride.

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