Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 & 10:00 Mass
Job 38:1, 8-11; Psalm 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41
Today’s readings speak to us, among other things, of CONVERSION, of the TRANSFORMATION of our lives into true disciples of Christ.
Listen again to this verse from today’s 2nd reading:
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
I want you to honestly answer this question: Has your faith as a Catholic caused you to grow in your relationship with Our Lord? As a result of your faith – whether you are a relatively new Christian or a cradle Catholic who has been attending Mass for decades – has your faith caused the old things in your life to pass away, making room for the new things God our Father wants so desperately to give you?
Have you experienced a conversion such that you are now living for Christ, rather than for yourself? Have you made room in your heart for him to make his dwelling place, or is your heart so filled with anger, pride, and selfish tendencies that there is no room there for the Holy Spirit to take up his dwelling place?
This past week I attended a conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio for Priests, Deacons and Seminarians. Have any of you ever visited Franciscan University? It’s a beautiful place that is filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
If you have never been, I strongly encourage you to visit. They have a Summer Conference Series there that anyone can attend. These conferences all have amazing speakers, inspirational liturgies and a palpable presence of the Holy Spirit. I was so moved by my experience this past week that Christine and I are planning to return at the end of July for another one of their conferences. I can’t wait for her to come and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in that holy place.
This conference was truly a conversion experience for me, awakening me to my need for the healing of those things that were keeping me from entering in to a deeper relationship with Christ. The experience shed new light for me on how to deepen my prayer life and move beyond some of the patterns of sin I had been stuck in.
One of our speakers, said something that had a profound impact on me. She said: “Christianity is not a behavior modification program. Christianity is not about sin management. We’re not here to be good little girls and little boys and then sent home on our way. Christianity is about encountering Jesus, it’s about entering into the life of Christ, who has come to set us free and TRANSFORM us into the abundant life we so earnestly desire.”
So I ask you, does everything you do and everything you value, flow out of your relationship with Christ? Or do you keep your faith in a little box, only taking it out on Sunday for an hour at Mass? True conversion changes us. It causes us to want to grow in our faith and our prayer life, each and every day of our life.
And now a quick word for our Fathers on this Father’s Day. If you have failed at times to love your wife and children with the unconditional love of God, if you have any regrets about the things you may have done that did not turn out well, know that God loves you in spite of your failings. There is nothing we can do to fall out of God’s love for us. Nothing!
God loves you for who you are, not for what you have done or have failed to do. If you are aware of anything that may have hurt your family, do not despair. God in his infinite, unconditional love forgives you. He loves you. You are so precious to him.
Perhaps you need to apologize to your family for your failings. If so, do it today! Take the time to tell your family members today to tell them how much you love them. By doing this you will show them that you are a work in progress and that God is continuing to transform your life.
If you are so blessed to have your family with you today, take a moment to thank them for all they have done to stand by you. Give them all a big hug and tell them how much you love them. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and to admit to those times you have hurt them in some way.
And now a message for all of us. If your Dad is still alive, tell him today how much you love him. If he has passed into eternal life, take a moment to reach out to him in prayer and ask him to intercede for you and thank him for doing his best to be a good Dad, even if he wasn’t perfect.
Here’s the essence of the message I believe God wants me to share with all of you today: He loves you so deeply and profoundly! Each one of us is precious to him and he will never, ever stop loving you no matter what. Believe this, know this for certain!
Let God the Father love you into total conversion so that your life is transformed into the child he created you to be. When your life is lived with this awareness of his unconditional love for you then you will be TRANSFORMED and moved to make the changes you need to make. He will surely fill you with this love so that you can share it with others. This is the Christian life…to love and to serve God each and every day of our life. To love as he loves, knowing how much he loves us.
God bless you.