- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily: June 26, 2015

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

12th Friday in Ordinary Time in Ordinary Time
Genesis 17: 1, 9-10, 15-22; Matthew 8: 1-4

The liturgy is encouraging us to reflect on the whole notion of trust. This reflection is important especially at a time when trust is in short supply in the world around us. This reflection is important for a society that has replaced trust with whole networks of security systems. The notion of trust is important for our times because constant vigilance has sapped our energies from more productive endeavors. When trust is low, we tend to isolate ourselves from other people, putting up higher and higher walls and thicker and thicker barriers. The more we pursue security in in these ways, the less peace we enjoy and consequently the love we most desire becomes more and more evasive.

In his first epistle St. John reminded us: “God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God in him” (1 Jn. 4:16). In order to abide in love, we must trust the Beloved. Unfortunately, many people have abandoned their biblical roots. Secular education has caused them to forget that they were created in the image and likeness of God. Consequently, they have recreated God in their image. Thus, the lack of trust threatens to erode our relationship with God. It is safe to assume that each and every one of us has felt abandoned or ignored at some time in our lives. Having been hurt, we set up defenses so as never to be hurt again. Not desiring to remain in darkness and futility, we push on, seeking meaningfulness, happiness and light. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and for those living in the land of the shadow of death, light has shined” (Is. 9:2).

Modern society has wagered that there is no God and that man is the master of his own destiny. Modern man, in his infinite wisdom has rejected Pascal’s wager. By so doing, man has limited his scope of existence the here and not, rejecting an infinity of an infinitely happy life. By limiting our vision to the earth, we inhibit our ability to mount the high places. Acknowledging our spiritual handicaps, may the Lord stretch out His hand and make us whole,

Quote from Hind’s Feet on High, by Hannah Hurnard

In the place where just a little while before all had been fear and despair were the Shepherd and Much-Afraid, sitting on the rocks at the foot of the precipice, laughing together as though at the greatest joke in the world.

“Come now, little jellyfish,” said the Shepherd, “do you believe that I can change you into a mountain goat and get you to the top of the precipice?”

“Yes,” replied Much-Afraid.

“Will you let me do it?”

“I don’t think I mind so very much if you do; only have your will and way in me, Shepherd. Nothing else matters.”