Bottom line: Pedimos su ayuda de la Hermana Barbara para agradecer a Dios en todas las cosas.
The homiliy will be mainly in English, but I begin with a Spanish summary:
San Pablo tiene palabras maravillosas al celebrar el picnic y dedicacion del memorial a la Hermana Barbara. Nos dice dar gracias continuamente por todas las cosas. Como decia la Hermana Barbara: Dios es bueno; el es tan bueno. Es cierto que ella enfrento cosas feas por ser capellan de policia respondiendo a situaciones de violencia domeestica. Claro que se enojo pero enfoco en la cruz - el sufriminento de Jesus por nosotros. Ella tenia un secreto. Cada manana paso tiempo con Jesus - su presencia real en la Eucaristia. Y comio su carne y bebio su sangre. Como el giraflor vuelve hacia el sol ella miraba a Jesus. Pedimos su ayuda para agradecer a Dios te todas las cosas.
St. Paul has wonderful words as we celebrate our parish picnic and memorial dedication to Sister Barbara. After warning to not get drunk on wine, Paul says to allows the Holy Spirit to fill us - to be able to give thanks always and for everything. What does that mean? Especially when so many bad things happen, how can we always thank God?
Well, when we began the homily series on Ephesians we learned that God predestines us according to his eternal plan. We of course have free will and each one has to make a decision. Nevertheless, to achieve his will God takes into account even our sins and failures. On account of his great mercy we thank God for everything including the tragedies and contradictions we experience.
As Sister Barbara said, "God is good; he is so very good." We'll see those words when we dedicate her memorial. Sister Barbara saw plenty of ugliness - especially in domestic violence visits she made as police and fire chaplain. It's not that she didn't feel outrage, yet she focused on the cross, the sufferings of Jesus on our behalf. She made an act of trust in Jesus, in the ultimate goodness of the Father.
And she had a secret. Every morning she spent time with Jesus present in the Eucharist. As Jesus says today, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man" - Jesus himself - and drink his blood you do not have life within you." There's a prayer that says, "Blood of Christ, inebriate me." Wine - in moderation - can gladden the heart. The Blood of Jesus brings joy that endures.
Sister Barbara received the Body and Blood of jesus and she spent time before him, his true presence in the tabernacle. She turned to Jesus like a sunflower to the sun. She confidently asked for little things - like finding a parking space - and for big things - like finding my lost puppy! She may still be interceding for us, helping us find our way and bringing us back to God.
Next Sunday we have the final homily of this seven week series. It all leads to Jesus - the Bridegroom - and his bride the Church. Sister Barbara represented that reality when she received the veil of a religious sister.
Today we ask her to help us thank God always and for everything. God is good; he is so very good. Amen.
July 22 - You who were once far off have become near by the blood of Christ. July 29 - Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received. August 5 - Put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness, holiness and truth. Aug 12 - Live in Love as Christ loved us and handed himself over as a sacrificial offering to God. Aug 19 - Give thanks always and for everything.. Aug 26 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her.
From Archives (20th Ordinary Sunday - Year B):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
De los Archivos (Domingo Veinte - Ciclo B):
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Summer - Kings and Prophets*
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru