I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18)
Let us begin with two basic principles of common sense.
Principle #1: Obeying God is the key to life. Life can be confusing and difficult enough as it is. But willingly to disobey or ignore God—that is the path to utter disaster. With God, we find peace. Without Him, nothing—not even the greatest worldly successes—can give us peace.
Principle #1 derives from the fundamental role of faith in a stable life. Common-sense principle #2 derives from the fundamental role of reason.
Principle #2 goes like this: Anyone who claims to tell you God’s will for your life is probably wrong and could very well be dangerous. To put it another way: God is God, and we human beings are not. Of one thing we can be sure: When it comes to God’s Almighty mind, we are not familiar with it.
Principle #1 teaches us that living as if God did not exist leads to disaster. #2 shows us that mistaking the word of man for the Word of God also leads to disaster. Obeying God brings pece. But obeying another human being as a substitute God? Misery.
So, now we have two solid principles of common sense. But, Houston, we have a problem. Obey God. Doubt anyone who claims to speak as an oracle of God. Where does this leave us?
It potentially leaves us altogether paralyzed. In order to obey God and find peace, we have to know God’s will. But how are we going to know it? We also have a solemn obligation to doubt anyone who says, “God wills that you do what I say!”
See the problem? This problem has confounded many noble minds. It has troubled many earnest souls. It has mystified some of history’s giants.
The Hoyas tore up the hapless Rutgers Scarlet Knights this afternoon.
The most interesting part of the game was a Subway radio commercial. The delirious announcer promises a hot pastrami sandwich, “We will follow you blindly, like nearsighted bison on a flavor stampede.”
Here is a homily for tomorrow’s Holy Mass:
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you. (Luke 1:1-3)
In the synagogue in Nazareth, the Lord Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Our kind and loving Creator is giving us this year of 2010. He has given us almost a month of it already. What are we going to do with this precious gift?
We are not little amoebas floating in the waters of time. We are not bystanders of 2010, watching it flow by, as it becomes the kind of year that is not acceptable to God, with nothing for us to do about it. No. We can take a firm grip on A.D. 2010 and turn it into something beautiful and good.
Now, let me tell you the first thing we are going to do to make this year acceptable. This year we are going to read the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
In Psalm 22, we sing: “I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.” “I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.”
This is our hymn. We sing it together. God made us to be together—to praise Him together, and to work together for His Kingdom.
The Lord Jesus told us: “I am the vine. You are the branches. You cannot bear fruit unless you remain on the vine.” (John 15:5) A vine has many branches, and the branches live and bear fruit together. Left alone, a branch detached from the vine withers and dies.