Weekly Homily from Father Jim Hogan for April 21, 2013

 • 4 Easter C ’13 •  Acts 13:14, 43-52 • Revelation 7:9, 14b-17 • John 10:27-30 •

Print PDF: Weekly Homily 04.21.2013

Scripture Readings: Fourth Sunday of Easter

Christ is risen!  (Truly, he is risen!)  Several weeks ago, as we celebrated the funeral of Pat Robins, one of his children recalled how Pat would mesmerize them when he made some wonderful soup with “the magic stone.”   It is an old Irish custom.  He put “the magic stone” in a pot of water.  As it boiled he asked one child to put in some chicken.  He tasted it and asked another to add some onions.  He tasted it again and again asking them to add cabbage, carrots and so on.  Finally the soup was ready.  It was delicious.  He removed the stone, washed it and put it in his pocket.

The “magic stone” motivated those children to make the soup as they worked together, placing their gifts into the pot.  For us, the “magic stone” is Jesus – the Christ!

He was convinced the Gracious Mystery we name God is working effectively in everyone’s life – daily, minute by minute.  “The kingdom of God [God’s new reality] is among you.”  He assured us “we will experience that ‘new reality’ when we make a complete turnabout in our value system!”  Check the pages of our history books. The process is slow, nearly imperceptible, but “God’s new reality” is emerging us as we, and others embrace the Christ vision.

The Risen One’s love drew people into community and through word and action taught and empowered them. His God-centered life demonstrated a way of relating to others as he gathered and healed what is scattered and apart. He was so fully human that he transcended all that limits us, including death. He continues empowering us to become so fully human, so free and loving that nothing, not even death, can diminish our lives.

The more we love, the more we are at one with, and part of what God is. When we listen to him — “loving one another,” even our enemies, we are creating the delicious soup he called “eternal life.”

Christ is risen!  (Truly, he is risen!)  The critical dimension in making that soup is listening – really listening to him.  “My sheep hear my voice.”

Biblical scholars remind us Jesus had no intention of founding a church as we know it. Fidelity to Christ is not about professing creeds or celebrating sacraments. It is about listening to him. “Love one another as I love you.”  Fidelity to Christ means embracing his way of “nonviolent love.” “Love is the most human, most valuable, most pleasurable, most exquisite thing we can do.  It doesn’t take any time.  It doesn’t take anything away from us.  It enlarges our being.”  Our lives are created by the love of others and their lives by our love.  As we become part of one another, we cannot be separated!

The earliest Christian communities listened, heard him, and did “love one another!”  Their personal transformation and the transformation of their communities was evident to their peers.  Christ’s vision of “God’s new reality” began to emerge among them.  They became people of nonviolent love.  Later communities both progressed and regressed as our willingness to embrace the Christ vision evolves and matures.

Today we who name ourselves “Christ-followers” face an enormous challenge.  Our nation stockpiles nuclear weapons and justifies sending drones or soldiers to foreign lands to kill people.  Our economy is rooted in the military-industrial complex. We gather in church on Sunday where we sit and listen.  “My sheep hear my voice.”  That is the critical point! Some among us actually hear “his voice” and really do what Jesus did!

Christ is risen!  (Truly, he is risen!)  The “magic stone” for us is Christ. Today I invite you to open your mind, heart and soul to the Risen One as we gather around this table. Be all you can be.  Dedicate yourself to building a world in which everyone has the opportunity to be fully human and fully alive.

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