Precious in the Eyes of the God, Homily

Homily, May 13&14, Cyc A, 5th Sun of Easter, Mother’s Day: Precious in the Eyes of the God

On behalf of Msgr Kenneally and his staff here at St William, I’d like to wish all the mothers here today (a day early) a Happy Mother’s Day! I know he has a blessing planned for each of you later in the Mass.

As his famous saying goes, none of us would be here if it weren’t for our mothers.  And, this being the month of May, I have to wonder if the Church itself would have endured for so long without the influence of our Heavenly Mother Mary.

Our First Reading is near and dear to my own heart because it describes where the role of Deacons came from. I would like to tell you that the creation of the Diaconate was a burning bush experience, where God came down and said, “Let there be Deacons”.

I would like to tell you that, but I can’t. It was more low-tech than that. It appears they were called into being to solve the problem of complaints against the Apostles for perceived neglect of the daily distribution of food to certain segments of the community.

With tongue in cheek, I could say, not a lot has changed over 2000 years. Squeaking wheels still get greased even today.

If you remember the homily last weekend, Msgr painted a great picture of God’s desire for our abundance. I’d like to continue that emphasis this week.

The reading that really struck me is the Second Reading taken from the First Letter of Peter.  In this Epistle we hear reassuring verses and phrases such as…

We are called living cornerstones of the Church,

We are to be built into a holy priesthood.

We are called a chosen race, a holy nation, a people the Lord claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works of the one who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

And, we are called “precious in the eyes of God”.  Apparently, we are more valuable than we thought we were.  We are cherished, highly esteemed, and loved in abundance.

With all of that, we must ask why? Why does God love us so much? Is it because of something that we have done?  No…

Well, to answer a question with a question, why do we love our children so much?  Why are our children so precious to us? Is it because of what they do?  No…  Sure, there are times that we are proud of our children’s accomplishments.

But, we love them even without their accomplishments. Shhhh, don’t tell them.

When you first held your children as infants, looked into that small face, you fell head over heels in love with that child. You could not believe you had so much love welling up in you.

And, that’s not just the moms, but also the dads, and others who may have never had a child of their own. Yet, the baby did not do anything to elicit that outpouring of love.

Why, then did you love that baby?  Why do you love your children – at every stage?  Even when they try our souls. You love them for who they are, not for what they do.  Your child is a unique person loving you back in their own way.  You see God’s love in your child.  You see yourself, your spouse, you see a reflection of God’s beauty in your child.

Now, back to the original question. Why does God love us?  Why are we so precious to Him?  He loves us for the same reason, for who we are, unique reflections of His love in the world.  He loves us because He sees in each of us the love He has for His Son, Jesus.

He loves us because each of us is a unique reflection of the Love that became flesh in Jesus Christ.

So, let us reflect on who Jesus is? Jesus is the rock that has been rejected by the world, but has become the cornerstone of that world.  We are the living cornerstones, too, and as such, we are the Church, built by the spirit of God.

Jesus is the great high priest who was rejected by the elites of His day, thrown out of the Temple, and crucified outside the city.  We are rejected by the intellectually arrogant of our day who control so much of our lives and how we see the world.

We too, are thrown out and laughed at as naive remnants of an ignorant age.  But, we remain here anyway.  We are a holy priesthood, people carrying on the priestly ministry by making God present to others and others present to God. We do that daily by being who we are, without a lot of hoopla or credit.

Jesus is the Light of the World, the one who dispels the darkness of sin.  We are the people of the light.  We are called to bring hope and light to a world living in fear and darkness and confusion.

Yes. We are precious to God because He sees His Son at work in us, and that work takes place gradually over our lifetime as our Pope recently pointed out.

Therefore, let us be aware of, and attuned to, our dignity as children of God.  Let us treat ourselves and each other with the respect a child of God deserves. Let us lay down our poor opinions of ourselves, our feelings of failure, our feelings of not doing enough, and unworthiness in the face of God’s overwhelming.

We teach our children to respect themselves.  We need to respect ourselves as well at every age. There are times that we are tempted to go along with a philosophy of life that calls for actions that do not encourage us to be our best selves.

Out of respect for ourselves, out of respect for the dignity that God has given us in calling us to be children of God, out of respect for the precious image of His Son that you and I have been called to bring to the world, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

Yes again. We are precious to the Lord.  We should hold our heads up above the everyday life around us.  We should have enough self-respect to avoid what everyone else says is acceptable in this modern-day, but we know is unacceptable in any day.

In the Southern colloquialism, we should stand tall with the Lord.  For we are the Church, we are the royal priesthood, we are the people whom God has chosen to bring light to all who live in darkness in all its forms.

May the choices we make in life be only those that reflect the dignity we have been ‘gifted’ with by the Lord of life.

On this Mother’s Day let us remember our moms and how precious they are in our eyes for their love and care of us.

Let us also remember, “We are precious in the eyes of God”.

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