Saturday, June 20, 2009

Homily / Sermon for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Master, do you not care?

(12th Sunday in Year B and Sunday after Sacred Heart)

This is not an uncommon prayer, is it? Why does God let this happen? We may often ask.

And it is not a new prayer. No doubt when Mark wrote the Gospel and gave this expression to the disciples fears, he was also echoing a prayer of the persecuted Christians of his own time. And it goes back further. This is the prayer of the prophet Jeremiah and the book of Job in the Old Testament. We hear words like this also in the Psalms. And throughout the ages too, Christians have said the same ‘Why, Lord? Why?’

And even if we question God, notice - this is still a prayer. And here is a strange and remarkable truth. People pray, even unbelieving people pray, when the going gets tough, when the chips are down. People pray when they in danger. People pray when they lose faith - not in God - but in their own ability to get them out of trouble.

It is a strange but true fact, that many people only look upwards when they are flat on their backs. Knowing their own weakness and powerlessness, we start to ask help from the Divine.

To some it may seem hopeless or ironic. But perhaps it is also a realisation of truth.

We believe in a God whose clearest and fullest expression is one who not only stilled the storm, but even more importantly who suffered and died for us. Our God is one who shared our lives and who knows not only physical pain, but also the pain of desolation and sorrow as his followers deserted him. Christ, the Son of God, Word made flesh, is also the one who said ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me’?

He is a God who loves us, and love embraces joy and sorrow, plenty and poverty, sickness and health, fortune and adversity. Love is what we need more than anything when things are difficult. And this is no abstract idea, because this is what we mean when we speak of his Sacred Heart.

it is a heart which beats for us, a heart which suffers with us, a heart which bleeds for us.

'Master, do you not care?' We know that he cares, because he stands with us, he embraces and comforts us. He loves us

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