We Need Jesus

(December 25, 2022)

Bottom line: Even though we are surrounded by stuff and we possess technology that can bring the world to a small screen, we are only happy if we discover the meaning and purpose of our lives. We need Jesus. .

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!

My name is Fr. Phillip Bloom. I am your pastor - your spiritual father - for thirteen and half years now. May God give us many more together.

Some of you have mentioned you are praying for Peru. Please keep it up. Social disorder hurts the poor most. Peru needs peace.

Our readings speak of peace, but against a background of turmoil. We hear about the fulfillment of the prophecy about a virgin with child. When Isaiah first delivered this prophecy the king didn't want to hear it. He told the king to ask for a sign. King Ahaz responded, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"

This is what you call false piety. It keeps God at arms length. A couple decades ago, a Seattle reporter asked Bill Gates if attends church. Gates responded, "I can think of more productive ways to spend a Sunday morning."

For sure, Bill Gates was one of the most productive people in our society. Today products inundate our children and young people. There's a problem, however. In spite our overall abundance, never have young people been so unhappy. So much depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, lack of meaning and purpose. Not all young people, of course, but studies show disturbing trends.

The Word of the Year for 2022 is "goblin mode." It is a "way of behaving that intentionally and shamelessly gives in to and indulges base habits and activities." I understand. When I was young many of us acted in "goblin mode", but few of us bragged about it. Putting goblin mode as something positive is the death of society.

Isaiah proposes a different standard: "As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you."

Jesus came as the bridegroom to give his life for his bride the church, that is, for you and for me. Jesus is the model for all husbands - and all priests. When I stand at the altar, I represent Jesus the bridegroom.

We are meant to sacrifice our lives for others, but we cannot do it on our own power. An angel in a dream said this to St. Joseph, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Brothers and sisters, we need God, we need a savior, we need Jesus. This past Advent I have been reading "Father Ed". It's the story of Fr. Ed Dowling who spiritual adviser to Bill W - the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The first three steps are:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

We need God, we need a savior - Jesus.

This Advent I have been explaining our protocols in church. For example, we enter, our attention focuses on the altar, we make a profound bow. When we come into the presence of the tabernacle in the chapel, we genuflect. These protocols, we saw, have a scriptural basis. I'd like to mention one more. During the Eucharistic prayer, we kneel. During that prayer Jesus becomes physically present on the altar. We also kneel right after the Lamb of God. The Mass is Bethlehem. Like the shepherds and the magi we kneel before Jesus who assumes a humble form.

We are in a difficult moment. Even though we are surrounded by stuff and we possess technology that can bring the world to a small screen, we are only happy if we discover the meaning and purpose of our lives. We need Jesus. Amen.

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From the archives (Christmas homilies):

2020: Meaning of Christmas
2018: Not by Any Righteous Deeds
2017: Exchange of Gifts
2016: Long Walk - Part of Gift
2015: A New Beginning
2014: There is More
2013: Forgiving God
2012: Why Jesus Was Born
2011: The Gift of Freedom
2010: Let Him Come In
2009: When We Were Gone Astray
2008: The Tiny Footsteps of Jesus
2007: No More Fear and Hiding
2006: That Sacred Jest
2005: An Ivory Horn
2004: A Christmas Poem
2003: The Weakness of God
2002: The Word
2001: The Abundance of God
2000: I Am One of You Now
1999: Bigger on the Inside
1998: How to Receive a Gift
1997: Someone is Knocking at the Door
1996: The Gift We All Desire

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

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

(current)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

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