St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Here I am Lord

 

Here I am Lord                                                                                        -Homily December 13, 2015

 

I would like to reflect today about the meaning of advent with a song. I do not usually do this because I don’t think that people come to church for the music, but because of God. In five years I have never used my guitar in a homily, and people still come to church, and not in a smaller number. But once in a while… You know the song very well; it is from a Jesuit, Daniel Schutte.

 

The song uses some texts of the scripture to show us the feelings of God, what is in the heart of Jesus and of God the Father. The music is very good, and it intends to make you feel what God “feels.” St. Paul says: “have the same feelings of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).  Why did he come to the world? Why did he suffer? What makes him suffer? What should I do with that? The song goes:

 

(singing, with guitar)

 

 

I, the Lord of sea and sky,

I have heard my people cry.

All who dwell in dark and sin,

My hand will save.

I, who made the stars of night,

I will make their darkness bright.

Who will bear my light to them?

Whom shall I send?

 

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night.I will go, Lord, if you lead me.I will hold your people in my   heart.

 

(singing, without guitar)

I, the Lord of snow and rain,

I have borne my people’s pain.

I have wept for love of them.

They turn away.

I will break their hearts of stone,

Give them hearts for love alone.

I will speak my words to them.

Whom shall I send?

 

 

God is sorry because we suffer, because we lack of happiness, because we lack of meaning in life, because we sin. He comes to teach us the way to eternal life, he comes to forgive. “Why he does not come with power to punish all those people who are doing injustice?” Because in his first coming he came to save, not to condemn. Because if he comes to punish, who will escape…? He came to help us now, so that in the final day we may be safe. Now is the time of mercy: he gives everyone the opportunity to repent and have a better life with him as a Father. He suffers because we could be happier with him, and we are not, just because we do not pay attention to his call.

 

He comes for me, he is sorry for me, precisely because I am a sinner. Sometimes we think that God is a friend of those who are perfect, actually, those who think they are perfect. God came to save sinners. If you are not a sinner, you do not need salvation. If you are a sinner, Jesus is your God. He came for you. You are the one for whom he is sorry, you are the one he would like to make happy, you are the object of his love and his sufferings.

 

And what does he get for all this love?

 

(singing, without guitar)

I, the Lord of snow and rain,

I have borne my people’s pain.

I have wept for love of them.

They turn away

 

We should be sorry for this. Suppose that one of your children gets sick, and you realize that it is because of something you had cooked. You love him, but you know that he is now suffering because of something you did. It is a horrible feeling. Well, we should try to understand what is going on in the heart of Jesus. It is not only that my sins made him suffer, it is also that even after he did so much for us, we care very little for him, or we forget him… That is not the way to treat someone who loves us so much. We should try to feel his love, to feel his pain for us on the cross, and answer to him: “Here I am, Lord! I want to love you back now.”

 

May the Lord grant us in this advent to have the same feelings of the Heart of Jesus.  

–Fr. Andrew

 

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How to obtain indulgences during the Jubilee Year of Mercy

 

For able-bodied Catholics:

 

Work 1: Take a pilgrimage to your local Holy Door, which is a physical portal in your local cathedral (Peterborough). This is a spiritual journey that signals, as the Holy Father said, “the deep desire for true conversion.”

 

Conditions for obtaining the plenary indulgence (it applies to all the “works”):

 

·         Go to confession (at least 8 days after or before)

 

·         Receive the Holy Eucharist (at least 8 days after or before)

 

·         Recite the Creed.

 

·         Pray for the pope and for his intentions.

 

For the elderly, confined and the ill:

 

Work 2: Pope Francis said that they may obtain the indulgence by “living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial,”

 

Work 3: Or by attending Mass and community prayer, “even through the various means of communication” (Television, Radio, etc.)

 

For all Catholics:

 

Work 4: Perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy

The seven corporal works of mercy: 1. Feed the hungry. 2. Give drink to the thirsty. 3. Clothe the naked. 4. Shelter the homeless. 5. Visit the sick. 6. Visit the imprisoned. 7. Bury the dead.

The seven spiritual works of mercy: 1. Counsel the doubtful. 2. Instruct the ignorant. 3. Admonish sinners. 4. Comfort the afflicted. 5. Forgive offences. 6. Bear wrongs patiently. 7. Pray for the living and the dead.

 

Remember

·         Pope Francis also decided to “concede to all priests” for the Year of Mercy, the “discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.”

·         Indulgences may be obtained for the dead.