Homily for Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
Ephesians 1:1-10; Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6; Luke 11:47-54
Today’s homily is based on our first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Today’s Psalm also speaks to the importance of praising God. Here is the text of the first reading (Ephesians 1:1-10):
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
What an amazing reading we have today from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians! He opens his letter speaking to us of the extraordinary gifts, or blessings, we each have as Christians. Let’s take a quick look at them so as to reflect on God’s immeasurable love for us and offer him our enthusiastic praise and worship.
First, St. Paul tells us that God the Father CHOSE US in Christ before the foundation of the world To be holy and blameless in his sight. To be set apart from all that is opposed to his love.
Then he tells us that he has blessed us in Christ with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavens! Let me repeat this! In Christ we have ALREADY been blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing! Did you get that? This marvelous affirmation is that God the Father has blessed each one of us IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY through what Christ has done for us when he came to RESCUE us from the power of sin and death. This includes giving us the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit himself, to DWELL WITHIN US, uniting us to Jesus, who is enthroned in heaven. This amazing life in Christ has ALREADY been given to us and has begun to be experienced by us.
Then Paul tells us that God ADOPTED US in Christ to be his very children! We were separated from him because of original sin, but in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, we enjoy the blessings of being in a relationship with him that was simply not possible before Christ. We are God’s children!
If that’s not enough, we next learn that we have been redeemed, or liberated, from our sins, in Christ, from the guilt of our transgressions. There is NOTHING we can do that can not be forgiven if we humbly and sorrowfully confess it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Finally, we are to understand that God has revealed to us his plan for the world, indeed for the entire universe. This plan is to ultimately sum up all things in Christ, both in heaven and on earth. This means that EVERYTHING – all of God’s creation – will be brought together under Christ. God plans to unite the whole cosmos under Christ’s headship, with the entire universe under his direct control, achieving the unity and harmony God intended for us from the beginning!
So what is our response to these amazing blessings, these extraordinary gifts we have been given as Christians? WE MUST GIVE GOD THANKS AND PRAISE ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE. In every place and in every circumstance. That’s it! This praise is what configures us to Christ and drives us to love our neighbor through acts of mercy and kindness. We must never be dismayed by the evil that is running rampant in the world, and there’s a lot of it isn’t there, because we know that God is in control, that he has a plan, and that this world will soon be brought under Christ’s direct control.
Here’s the lesson for us all today: Christian worship, whether in the liturgy or personal prayer, entails a continuous RECIPROCAL DYNAMIC. It goes like this: In RESPONSE to the blessings God has bestowed on us through creation and redemption, we offer PRAISE to our Father through his Son and in the Holy Spirit and we ask his continued blessing on us. He, IN RESPONSE TO THIS PRAISE, blesses us by pouring out through Christ the grace of his Spirit on our offering, on the Church, and on the whole world, with the result that his divine blessings evoke EVEN MORE PRAISE of his glorious grace.
So today, no matter what circumstances you may find yourselves in, PRAISE GOD! Praise him always and ask for his continued blessing. He will be faithful and pour out his grace upon you and on the whole world, for which we will return to him what? Even more PRAISE! Amen? Amen! Praise God!!