Plenty to Look Forward To, Provided We Can Get There

dejection1Don’t get mad at me: I was hoping for the Chargers to beat Pittsburgh. Just to make it a clean sweep of upsets for the weekend.

What do football fans BOTH in Dixieland AND near the Empire State Building have in common? They are all wondering how their powerhouse teams managed to let it slip away.

Meanwhile, we mid-Atlantic-ers have the pyrrhic consolation of having two teams left. But there is no joy in it when one of those teams is the Philadelphia Eagles.

flaccoThis Flacco guy is good. When I lived in Mexico, they called me “flaco,” which is Spanish for ‘skinny.’

Whoever wins the AFC is going to win the SuperBowl. And we Redskins fans have to deal with the frustration that the NFC Championship game will be played by two teams we beat.

Here is a homily for yesterday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

chasm-bridge1

The greatest, most wonderful, mysterious, and awesome thing is God. God is infinitely greater than everything else. In heaven there are countless hosts of angels. The greatest of the angels is more splendid than anything we can even begin to imagine. God is infinitely more beautiful than that angel.

So the Lord is infinitely holier than we are. We are drawn to Him. We are fascinated by Him. We long for Him. But He is on the other side of a chasm that we cannot get across.

Everyone know what a chasm is? In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the Company, fleeing the Balrog, had to cross a chasm in the Mines of Moria. The bridge collapsed, and Gandalf fell into the pit of the earth.

The Bridge of Khazad-dum from the Lord of the Rings
The Bridge of Khazad-dum from the Lord of the Rings

Every attempt we make to get from our side of the chasm to God’s side will fail. He is infinitely greater than we are. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is God; we are not. We are weak; we are sinners.

The Lord, on the other hand, is infinitely powerful. He can get across the divide.

When the fullness of time came, He stepped across. He become man. He walked the earth.

While He was here, He did many things so that we could get to Him. One of the most important things He did was to take things that we can get and turn them into ways we can get to God.

baptismchristgreco1We cannot go to the kitchen and get God. But we can go to the kitchen and get…water. Water is on this side of the chasm; water is infinitely distant from God and close to us. So water is easy to get.

The Lord Jesus went into the water of the Jordan River to make water a bridge to God.

Water is the means by which Christ cleanses us with His infinite grace. By being baptized in water, we share in the holiness of Christ.

And of course He gave us the priesthood and the sacrament of Penance, too, so that we can always return to the holiness of Baptism by going to Confession.

Water is easy to get. So is oil. Oil is on our side of the chasm.
A bishop is not exactly easy to get, but you can get one if you schedule it six months in advance. A bishop’s hand, dipped in oil, is infinitely distant from God. But Christ makes it the means by which His Holy Spirit comes to strengthen us. The sacrament of Confirmation.

Bread is easy to get. Wine is easy to get (provided you are at least 21 years old). They are on our side of the chasm.

cib-cruThe hosts in the ciborium right now are infinitely distant from God. The wine in the cruet is infinitely distant from God. But in the Holy Mass, Christ turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God. He steps across the chasm on this bridge, the bridge of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Christ gave us Baptism, Confirmation, the Most Holy Eucharist, and all the sacraments, to be bridges between God and us. We could not get there, so He comes here.

Maybe you remember in the vice-president debate there was a discussion about the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere,” a money-pit project in Alaska.

The sacraments of faith are not bridges to nowhere. They are bridges to the Kingdom of God. They are the bridges we need to take in order to get where we belong.

2 thoughts on “Plenty to Look Forward To, Provided We Can Get There

  1. Praise God! What a wonderful homily Father. What wonderful blessings and graces God gives us through all of His sacraments. When I was reading your homily I thought of Moses and how he desperately wanted to see God’s glory. God allowed Moses to see Him, but only from behind. The Glory, joy and grace that Moses received was written all over his face. To be worthy to see the Glory of God. Wow! 🙂

  2. Personally, I’m quite pleased that our own Arizona Cardinals are proving the “experts” wrong. It’s rather godly – “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

    I think the Cardinals have a real chance to beat the Eagles since they are playing at home. If that happens, and Tampa has a warm front move through, the surprising Arizona Cardinals may just win the Super Bowl with seven losses this season.

    Enjoyed the homily. Best, Aaron

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