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6th Sunday of Easter 2009 May 17

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Fr.Paul Weinberger

Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: 6th Sunday of Easter 2009 May 17 Reply with quote

6th Sunday of Easter 2009

Homily by; Fr. Paul Weinberger
St. William the Confessor Catholic Parish
Greenville, TX
May 17, 2009

It was not you who chose Me but I Who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last. Jesus says, “This I command you, love one another.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit


You have heard the story no doubt, of the two men in college, who when they weren’t in class or studying they were playing practical jokes on each other. Of course after college they both got married and lived near each other and were always continuing this practical joking, especially at Christmas. They remained friends because one of them had horses and the other had children that loved riding horses. One little boy was always asking his dad for a pony of his own, but the dad told him it was impossible because they didn’t have enough land but they could always go to the friend’s house and ride there.

One Christmas morning as dad was going toward the den he smelled the barnyard, but it wasn’t anywhere close by. He opened the door to one of the side rooms and the entire room was filled with, shall we say, leftovers from the stable. Somehow his friend had gotten in there and played a practical joke on him. Typical at Christmas! Just as he was about to get angry his son passed by seeing the entire scene then ran away and got his shovel and started digging away. His dad asked what he was doing and the child said, “There has to be a pony in here somewhere.” [Laughter]

This is the kind of naïve optimism, or the joy that comes with such naïve optimism that we find in children but is also found in many a wife. The month of May is the Month of Mary; she is the mother of Jesus, the mother of God and is an example for all mothers. She is especially an example of what Jesus is talking about when He talks about love. He is not talking about sentimentality but of love.

No man has greater love than to lay down his life for his friend

At the last Mass there was a man, whose wife is in the hospital. She has had some strokes. Their son came back from Afghanistan; he flies a Black hawk helicopter there. He came home to see his mother, who is doing better, but the hardest thing for him to do was to leave and go back there. I know right now there is someone at this Mass, who is in a similar situation. He has been to Afghanistan and back many times in the past five years.

This is the kind of love Jesus is talking about, the kind that lasts. In fact, June is coming up and it will be a month of many weddings. Many women desire to have a June wedding. So many weddings have that reading from 1st Corinthians, chapter 13 where St Paul is describing love. Love bears all things, is patient, kind and not jealous. It goes on and on. There are very beautiful qualities of love and at the end St. Paul tells us that there is faith, hope, and love, but in the end only love will endure. This is the kind of transforming love that Jesus wants to see in us.

As I said earlier, it is amazing to see this transforming love in women, especially in mothers. Tomorrow is the birthday of my youngest niece. She and Pope John Paul II share the same birthday, separated by decades of course. Pope John Paul II wrote and spoke often, and in his complete corpus of writings and talks you will hear a theme to which he returns to again and again about the genius of women and how the genius of women is their incredible receptivity and the ability of women to be so receptive of God’s love. This is a receptivity, which must be transforming or it is of no use. This is why so many men are grateful for having married the right woman. They look back over their shoulder and see how their love was transformational.

It is the love that is pictured here and around the Church, the love of carrying the cross. Like when a mother or father is sound asleep and at 2 am the child comes in the room and says, “I think I am going to be sick.” Well, too late and now you have to clean them up, yourself up, and the bed up. By the time that is done another child comes in and says, “Me too!” Right? It is the kind of love that bears all of that well and smiles when there is only 30 minutes left before you have to get up and go to work. This is the real kind of love and the kind of love that is transforming our country,

I am holding up a piece of paper and running it between my forefinger and thumb. That is about how much good news got out last week from a recent poll by Gallop. It is concerning our country and the only results they published widely and in a begrudging manner was the report that the survey said that 51% of Americans claim they are pro life. That is not the entire results of the survey. I don’t remember if it was 66% or 75% of Americans are either absolutely pro life or they are VERY pro life. I am inspired by both of those. It has been a long time since such a poll has reported such things. I know what has turned the corner and it is the love in the hearts of women, especially mothers, who have spoken to other mothers and that love has been transformational.

It is like what is written on the cover of the bulletin under the picture of Our Lady.

With mothers supporting other mothers and speaking about how precious life is from the first moment of conception until the last natural breath, the culture of life begins to spread over the world.

It has a transforming effect and if it does not have that effect it is not love in the manner in the example of Christ and what He demands of us. Christ does not want us to spread some kind of cheap imitation or knock off brand of love that won’t last.

This is a very special time for the Church. Thursday is Ascension Thursday, forty days after Easter. It is moved to next Sunday for reasons that the Bishops have decided. It is common now. But on Ascension Thursday Jesus led his Apostles and Disciples out of Jerusalem to a nearby hill and just before he ascended he said,

Full authority has been given to Me both in Heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; teach them to observe everything I have commanded you and know that I am with you always, even till the end of time.

Just as Jesus was disappearing He said He was remaining and that He was going to be here. This is the miracle that Jesus performed at Emmaus. Recall how Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the Disciples. Up until that point they had not recognized Jesus, but from that point they recognized Him and He disappeared. It is in St. Luke’s Gospel. Jesus disappeared but the bread didn’t disappear. Hey, that was Jesus and He took our bread? No, no! He remained. It is the love that lasts and He shows us how He remains with us. This most Blessed Sacrament and the other six Sacraments give us the strength to love, as Jesus demands. Jesus says,

You are My friends “if” you do what I command you.

I have heard so many different flavors over the years. “I know what I am doing is wrong but…” No, I am sorry, Jesus says that you are His friend IF you do what He commands you. No “but” is included in the statement. It is the love that Jesus wants; He wants to see it in our hearts so that we can transform a world, which is infatuated with death and things temporary.

I was listening to a man, who has distinguished himself in the pro-life movement for decades. He has been in front of abortion clinics counseling and helping people and has done fantastic work. Yesterday on Catholic Radio he said that one day he was with a small group in front of an abortion clinic and a woman and her seventeen year old daughter were walking down the sidewalk and about to enter the clinic, or at least he thought so. He just kept his head down and kept praying; he’d seen so many things like this over the years. But, they didn’t enter the clinic and instead approached this group of people on the sidewalk and said, “You know, eighteen years ago I came here for an abortion and I saw your group praying here and I decided that I could not go through with the abortion. I wanted to introduce you to my daughter; she is seventeen.”

This is a mother telling her story to others with love. Yes, there is something called, “Silent No more”, and they are women who have had abortions and are not going to be silent but are going to spread their story to other mothers in hope that they can save a life. Without even aligning yourself with a group or any program, this is the kind of love that is transforming our country one heart at a time. Because it is having an effect, you know the origin of that love and it is Christ, Himself. There is only one thing that lasts and that is love, but love has been hijacked and redefined as some feeling located somewhere below the belt and above the knees. This is WRONG and not what love is. Love means something much more and it is best exemplified by Our Lord’s example…laying down His life for His friends and enduring everything out of love so that His flock would be transformed and by the transformation of His flock, the world will be transformed.

Just at the moment when it seems that all the wrong people are in all the right places to effect all the wrong changes we come up with this survey and you can just hear them in those high places saying, “But, but.” or “I am melting.” Right? These wicked individuals, who have every plan just poised to give someone money to have the next abortion but they are not showing up, or things are happening to the contrary because lives are being transformed. It would have been ideal if there could have been a little group in every abortion clinic over the last thirty-six years and that no one would have had an abortion but that is not where we are living. We have to live with reality, with the way things really are.

Pope John Paul II wrote and spoke so much about the genius of women and that women are very receptive to God’s love and that they share this love with others. I am not using the term “sharing” like a throw away line like on daytime TV, no, that they actually speak about this love that God has given to them and it is making a difference and helping other women and helping to save lives as well as transforming our country.

It was not you who chose Me but I Who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last. Jesus says, “This I command you, love one another.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

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