Does GOD have a sense of humor? Some say that a Spirit cannot have one because of the intellectual knowledge HE has being a Spirit. If so, I'm in wee bit of trouble, maybe more.
Must we actually fear GOD? Probably yes, but then why would HE send his Son to dwell among us and to "give us peace"?
Can we be afraid to do what GOD calls us to do? You bet. Most of us kinda hope HE'll call somebody else. And it is a very natural feeling. But what if HE really does? The first thought through our head is: "It isn't really YOU, GOD, is it?
Let's take a look at the First Reading from the First Book of Samuel. Samuel was one of the early great Prophets. He should have known GOD would protect him. Right. But look at Samuel when GOD tells him to anoint David as the next King of Judea. What does he hurriedly say: "How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me." So GOD devises a plan. Samuel is to take a heifer and tell everyone that he is on the way to Bethlehem (later to be called the City of David) to offer sacrifice. While there, after going through all of Jesse's sons, he finally has to ask if these are all the sons, for GOD has not chosen any of them. So they call in little David, who was out in the fields tending the family's sheep. Samuel anoints him to succeed Saul. But Samuel goes to Ramah, not returning immediately home to Saul. Probably because he wasn't too sure of GOD's protection.
In the Second Reading, Paul in Chapter 5 of his letter to the Christians at Ephesus says we were once darkness, but now we must live as "Children of Light". In short, we must be different because WE ARE CHRISTIANS and WE MUST SHOW THIS TO THOSE WHO SEE US. We must been seen as different because of our Faith. If people of today are not in awe of how they see us living, we are still in that "darkness" from which we never escaped.
In particular, Paul notes some very contemporary sins. They are Immorality, Impurity and Greed. Note that Paul is not concerned directly with worship of false gods. We are supposed to be past that. Yet if we look at Immorality, Impurity and Greed, they are just another was of being dedicated to false gods. This worship of false gods is very much present today. We are to be Children of the Light standing against this worship of false gods in the here and now, in what ever communities we now belong to. People must see us as really different.
As a bit of an aside, most of the latter part of this Chapter contains the language that Husbands must be subject to their Wives. Or do I have that backwards?
The Readings of the Gospel of John are suggested in 2 forms today. Either the whole of Chapter 9 or only highlighted sections of it. The miracle here relates to the healing of the blind man, the questioning of his parents and him by the Pharisees, the blind man standing up to and arguing with these same powerful Pharisees, and the final meeting with Jesus where after being told by Jesus that HE is the one who cured the blindness, the formerly blind man humbly worships Jesus.
Four points stand out in this Miracle narrative. First, the parents are terrified that they might be thrown out of the synagogue by these all-knowing and powerful Pharisees. "We know his is our son. He was born blind. But how he now sees, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age!"
Second, it is the son who was blind - even though he doesn't know anything about Jesus - who stands up to these so-called powerful men, even seeming to ask if they might want to become HIS disciples. The snottiness of these men of God with their belief in their exclusive power to proclaim GOD's message (even over the power of the High Priests) definitely shows closed minds and a severe pride. They won't listen because they know the right way to GOD and nobody else does. They are so sure of themselves. Surely this measly common Jew cannot teach them, because he is wrong about Jesus.
Third, this common formerly blind man simply accepts who Jesus is and worships Him. GOD reveals HIMSELF to the poor and the humble, but not so easily to Theologians or Rulers of a Church. Pride, as St. Paul says to us above, is a major sin, because in it we are truly worshiping ourselves. There is no longer a need for idols or false gods. We have made ourselves one.
Fourth, GOD doesn't need thunder, lightning, earthquakes, tsunamis or other like signs to act on us. HE, as Jesus did in curing this blind man uses common things, such as clay and saliva. And the same thing happens in the Sacraments. And in these Sacraments common materials change us spiritually:
1. Baptism - water and the invoking of the FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, which we will see occurring today in the Baptism of Kathryn Marta.
2. Confirmation - the Oil Of Chrism with the imposition of hands.
3. Eucharist - common bread and wine over which are repeated the words of Jesus at the
4. The Sacrament of Reconciliation - the words of Forgiveness.
5. The Sacrament for the Sick - the Oil of the Sick and the laying on of hands.
6. The three (3) Sacraments of Orders - the imposition of hands, which in the Acts of the Apostles we see the Apostles using to ordain the first Deacons.
7. Marriage - the solemn exchange of vows between a man and a woman to remain as Husband and Wife for the rest of their lives, witnessed Deacon, Priest or Bishop with the gathered congregation.
And now we proceed to the Baptism of Kathryn Marta, daughter of Brian and Rebecca Smaga, using common water and invoking the FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT to welcome her into GOD's Family.