12 January 2017

Today's Chapel Homily

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us pray. Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 85

A reading from 1Corinthians 1:26–31:

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

This is the Word of the Lord. R.


In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Paul invites the Corinthians and us to reflect on our calling. How almost none of us would be counted as "the movers and shakers" of the world, then or now. Using worldly standards the overwhelming majority of Christians across history are sheer nobodies. And that makes us perfect stuff for our God to work with, because the God of the Sacred Scriptures seems to take a particular delight in making something out of nothing. He does it at creation, He does it with Abraham and Sarah, He does it little David whom nobody thought important enough to call to dinner where he ends up the anointed one, He does it with the way His Son slipped into the world at Bethlehem, and even the way He won our salvation on Calvary's cross. "He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world did not know Him."

Didn't know Him and so doesn't know you. Not for whom you really are. Children of God walking around, having a life that we're never going to lose, heirs of the entire planet, everything yours, all things working together, serving you for our good and blessing, reigning in life with Jesus.

The rich and powerful of the world raise a weary eye and say: "Yeah, you all going on telling yourselves that. See, Marx was right. This is the opiate these idiots inhale to keep 'em happy and hopeful as they stumble along as our slaves. Whatever works to keep 'em working and not thinking." And sometimes you wonder too, and doubt. But fear not!

The weak shame the strong, the low and despised and things that are not bring to nothing the things that are. And all to what end? To wipe out all human boasting in the presence of God. All our "look at me and what I did" with my own smarts, power, money, fame. Look and be glad that you have a servant like me, O God!

All that wiped out. Gone. Instead the Father looks at the man in the Jordan, His servant, His son (delightful how in the Greek of the Septuagint you can't tell which is which). Standing there in the water and the Father says: "This is my beloved Son. In Him I am well pleased." And this is IS your calling, people loved by God. To get in the water with Him, to stand where He stands and to hear the Father say the same of YOU. For it happened. When you got in the water with Jesus. Whether you remember it happening is irrelevant. Just remember that it happened. The Father looked at you and said: "This is my child, my daughter, my son, whom I love, with them I am well pleased."

Consider your calling. In your Baptism everything, absolutely everything, that is His is made over to you. His Father becomes your Father, His mother your mother, His home your home, His life becomes your life, His righteousness your righteousness, and then He becomes your sole boast. Your wisdom from God, your sanctification, righteousness, redemption. All Him. To be in Him, then, is to have absolutely everything; to be outside Him while having the best this world has to offer is to have only dust and ashes and to lose even that in the end.

The handful of water and the words He commanded deliver you into Him. Word and water seem so weak and lowly and despised. And yet, in them the power of God is at work. It is not the opiate the world imagines or that your worst doubts fear, but it is intoxicating! The LXX has Psalm 23 reads: Your cup of inebriation, how pleasant it is! Sweet. Yes, drunk with the Spirit and His sober joy we dance through life forevermore. The world will always think we're great fools, but better to be the Lord's fool than the world's wise or strong man! And so we invite the world to embrace the folly and join with us in the life that is in Jesus and in Him alone. Amen.

Hymn of the Day: #399 The Star Proclaims the King Is Here

Responsive Prayer I, p. 282 Morning Suffrages

No comments: