Thursday, August 4, 2016

Homily for 4 Aug 2016

4 Aug 2016

We don’t have to wait for heaven.  We don’t have to wait; and we shouldn’t.  Of course, we usually think of heaven as something for the future—as something that’s almost divorced from our life today.  But so much of our faith tells us otherwise.

From Jeremiah we hear the Lord say: “I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts.”  The law, the covenant, the marriage between God and humanity is right here, in our bodies and souls.  Heaven and earth are mingled together in our spirit.

And then we the Lord say to Peter: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Our life on earth affects our life in heaven; the two are distinct, but they don’t operate independently of one another.  And what keeps heaven and earth together for us are those keys of Saint Peter.

And “the keys” are our life of faith.  Faith is what makes each of us say in our hearts: “You, Jesus, are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Faith is what makes us peaceful of heart, knowing that God’s mercy and forgiveness are greater than any sin we can commit.  Faith is what moves us to be loving and hopeful; a person of goodwill; a friend to neighbors and a friend to God.  Faith does all that.  Faith keeps heaven and earth together.

And, you know, whenever we meet a person of real faith, and we’re touched by them, we realize that it’s true: we don’t have to wait for heaven.  We begin to live the life of heaven right here on earth.  And that life is built on faith.  It’s why we pray so often: “Create a clean heart in me, O God.”  Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God—both in heaven and on earth.

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