Thursday, August 11, 2016

Homily for 12 Aug 2016

12 Aug 2016

We have lots of names for it: confidant, best friend, friends for life, soul mate, companion, my other half.  When it comes to the idea of a “covenant,” we pretty much know what it means, and how it looks and feels.  And it looks a lot like having a: confidant, or best friend, or soul mate, and so on.

And so, when God talks about being in a covenant with us, we already know what basically means.  It means that God is with us for the long-haul; he’s with us in good times and in bad.  It means God sees his relationship with us as beneficial to him; and he’s willing to hold up his end of the bargain.  Of course, a covenant is a two-way thing.

In some ways, our relationship with God can feel like an arranged marriage: God chose us, but did we choose God?  Really, when was the last time any of us said to ourselves: “I choose to be in a covenant with almighty God?”  Maybe it was this morning; maybe never—I don’t know.  But that’s a critical question for each of us to consider.

And that’s because consent is at the heart of it all.  God has consented to be our partner through life and death.  And we know that because the blood of Jesus poured out on the Cross is “the Blood of the new and eternal covenant.”  God consented to love us, and he signed on the dotted line with his Blood.  That was God’s free choice.

And we have the same choice.  Free consent is at the heart of any covenant.  It’s at the heart of friendship and marriage; it’s the basis of consecrated religious life and the ordained life.  And we ratify our consent—we seal our commitment to God—every time we say “Amen” to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Every time we do what’s right simply because it’s the right thing to do; every time we act in faith or hope or charity, we seal our covenant with God.

We pour out our blood, our sweat, our lives in imitation of Christ, who did the same (and more) as a sign of his desire for us.  And we do that because that’s how we consent to a covenant—to any kind of covenant: we put our heart and soul into it, and we do it because we choose to.  That’s the kind of covenant God asks us to be in with him—not a half-hearted “ok,” but a full-bodied “Yes.”

And so, every day, again and again, we have the chance to say “Yes” to God.  Every day we have the chance to say “Amen,” and to live our lives as one big “Yes” to God’s ways of faith, hope, and love.  Every day the covenant with God is renewed—if we choose it to be renewed.  It’s a new day today.  Will you say “Amen” to God—of your own free will?        

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