news!Today we’ll be given permission to
sleep in Church!Seriously – listen to
the first reading.Also – I’m going to
give you permission to NOT give up ice cream for Lent this year…pretty exciting stuff, so you
might want to listen closely to the homily today.;)
kid in the pew) What’s your name? How do you
KNOW it is your name? Where did you get that
name…who gave it to you?Does your name mean anything? Does it say anything about who you really
are?Think about that…. We all have names.Does your name describe who you really are?
I remember in
grade school – it seemed the cool kids had nick name.There was Buzz – I think he got that name
because he always had a crew-cut – you know – where all the hair is buzzed
off.Somewhere around the 7th grade,
somebody asked me his name – and I couldn’t remember.Now I can remember
his name was David.But at the time, to
me, ‘Buzz’.is who he was.
I didn’t have a nick name.I wasn’t one of the cool kids.I saw myself as an average kid for the most
part – especially when it came to athletics.I was never one of the first ones picked for
kick ball or dodge ball or any game for that matter.
Until one day in 7th grade, we were doing some sort of running where we had
to run as fast as we could to a spot – then back again 4 times…we used to call them ‘killers’,
but some boys told me yesterday they call them ‘valleys’
or ‘death valleys’
now.I remember I was one of the last ones to run
that day – and as I watched the others, I could see where they could have ran
faster and made up time.When I finished my run, the teacher was
really surprised… I need to
check my watch!I had the fastest time of the day – even beating Todd – who everybody knew
was the fastest kid in class…that’s why his nickname
That day, I
realized – I wasn’t who I thought I was.I wasn’t who everybody else thought I should
be.I had what
it takes to be a totally different person… but I
needed that experience to make me realize it.I needed somebody to tell me who I could be.
what happened to Simon – Jesus said – your name is
not whoyou are… instead, I
name you ‘Cephas’ – which we translate to ‘Peter’– which means rock or
stone. You all know, of course, that Peter wasthe first Pope. He was the rock upon which Jesus
built his Church onearth. Now - Just having the name didn’t change Peter. He had a
lot oflearning to do –
heck – he had just MET Jesus… so he couldn’t havebeen prepared to be the Pope. But – Here’s the point
– once we’ve metJesus… we
are no longer the same person.
Does God talk to you? Seriously – think to
yourself – has God everspoken
to you? You know, like Samuel in that first reading…My guess is that most of us
would have to say ‘no’… in fact, we mightthink since God has never spoken to ME, I really doubt that He speaksto anybody anymore… at least – not the average folks. Maybe the Pope– maybe Fr. Eugene – surely God must speak with THEM… but
me? No way.
On the other hand, there are people here today who
HAVE had God speak to them.What makes them different than the rest of us? What do THEY do tohear God that the rest of us
Well – look at Samuel in the first reading. He
was sleeping in theTemple.
Now – I stand up here preaching every few weeks, and I knowthat some people out there DO sleep in the Temple! ;) Well –
if Samuel is allowed to do
it, I guess we can too.
In case you don’t know the backstory, it might help to know WHY he was sleeping in the
Temple.Samuelwas the son of Hannah.
Hannah had been unable to have children, andshe promised God that if she could have a son, she would
dedicate himto God.
So – when Samuel was born, she took him to the Temple – andEli actually raised him!
That’s why Samuel was sleeping in thetemple. He was being mentored by Eli, the priest.
So – he had slept in the temple many times… and the
reading today it even tellsus – up until this moment, God
had not revealed anything to him… but today was different. God called him.What can we learn
from that story?
First – – notice that Samuel had no clue God was
speaking to him. He wentto the wisest person he knew – Eli – but even HE didn’t
was going on and told him to go back to sleep. Inour own lives,
sometimes the world will tell US to go back to sleep.They don’t hear God
talking to them, so there’s no reason to think Godis talking to US.
Second - it shows the need for us to seek out a wise person. We won’talways recognize God speaking to us, but a
wise spiritual directorwill
be able to help us recognize God speaking.
The third thing we can learn from that is by spending
time in theTemple – or in
church - we can hear from God. We may not HEAR Him every time – buteventually, God will speak to us….and we have to be ready
Do you ever spend time in the Temple? Do you spend time in Churchwith God? You know, we
have Jesus – the son of God – right here inour Tabernacle all the time.
We have access to come sit with Godevery day. But do we do it?
Even better, on Friday evenings, we have Eucharistic
Adoration – wherethe Body
of Christ is exposed in the monstrance in the chapel at SC.We have people coming in all evening to spend an hour in silence… togive God an hour to speak to us. Some people have
seen andexperienced some
amazing signs while in adoration. I know I personally get myBEST inspiration for homilies
when I’m sitting in adoration.
One thing is almost for sure…If we don’t take the time in silence, we’ll
never hear God.
If we fill every moment of our day with music and TV
and ipods andemails and
texts and busyiness… we are wasting our lives. If wecannot take time to allow God to
tell us our purpose, we have missedthe very meaning of our lives.
If we never let Jesus tell us our real name We'll miss the joy he planned for us by doing what HE wants of
I’d like to invite you to give God an hour – or maybe
a half-hour –every
Friday. Currently, we have adoration Fridays from 4-10 pm. Youknow, many churches have enough folks willing to commit
their time,that they can
keep adoration going perpetually – meaning 24 hours aday – 7 days a week. Wouldn’t it be great if we
could expand ouradoration
In fact, with Lent coming up – this would be a great Lentenresolution… forget about giving up chocolate…or ice cream.
Give God an hour!!!We’re going to try to open up our Adoration
ALL DAY on Friday – we canstart
as early as you like. The trick is, we need people to commit,because the chapel cannot be
left empty while the Precious Body isexposed. But don’t be scared to commit… on weeks when
you can’t makeit – you can
simply trade with somebody or call a substitute. Try it during lent. You might find that you
really love this time. You might hear Godspeaking to you. You might
find your purpose.You
might find your real name by giving Jesus sometime to speak to you.
How different would our
parish be if everyperson
gave God the time to tell us our purpose – and like Simon
–to give us a new
name. Once we’ve met Jesus, we are no longer thesame person.