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

Homily for August 8, 2020

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Memorial of Saint Dominic

Habakkuk 1:12-2:4, Matthew 17:14-20

“I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, And keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint” (Hab. 2:1). These words taken from the prophet Habakkuk speak to the heart of people anxious about the virus and perplexed with doubts. Not knowing what the future will bring, with the prophet we stand on the ramparts and watch for the answer from the Lord. Faith tells us that we open the ears of our hearts to hear the Word of the Lord and ponder His message. Because God is ever faithful and true to His Word, he will not disappoint the expectations of those who wait to hear what he will say unto them. We wait in hope. Though the Lord be slow in coming, we have the assurance of His faithfulness. When the night is at its darkest, there is the promise of the dawn. As we wait, we make the words of Simon Peter our own. “Lord, there is no one else that we can turn to. Your words give us eternal life” (Jn. 6:68).

“I will stand at my guard post… and keep watch to see what he will say to me.” The prophet vigil is prompted by faith that has been immersed in love. “I was asleep, but my heart was awake… when I heard my lover knocking and calling to me” (Song 5:2). God will not disappoint the believing expectations of a word from the Lord. The faithful servant walks and works with the ears of his heart open to the word of the lord. He faces all life’s challenges with expectant faith, confident that the Lord will not try him beyond his strength. The apostle Peter put it quite beautifully. “Though you have never seen him, you love him. Even though you do not see him now, you trust him. Your heart overflows with inexpressible joy that has been touched with glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).

T. S. Eliot offered this wise insight: “We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring /Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time.” And so, my brothers, let us stand at our guard post. Let us station ourselves upon the rampart, listening if there is a word from the Lord.