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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tuesday Homily - Feast of Saint Irenaeus

We live in a messy world full of struggles and trials and tribulations. We may often feel that we are like the apostles, stuck in a boat in the midst of a stormy and turbulent sea crying out to Jesus – “Lord, save us!”

Saint Irenaeus struggled against the Gnostics who believed that God as Spirit could never have any connection with a world which was so imperfect and in which there were so many problems. The glorious Word of God, Jesus, could not have possibly had a body like we do subject to disease and sickness and weakness. Irenaeus, however, saw that in a great and wondrous way God did enter into the messiness of our lives in Jesus Christ who was born into our messiness, lived in our messiness, died in our messiness and rose again. Even when Jesus rose from the dead, he did not cast aside his physical body but kept it and transformed it.

For the apostles and for us, God is not alien to our struggles – so transcendent that there is no connection between us and him. Rather, God, in Jesus Christ, is with us in our boats and with us amidst the storms. He does not tell us to ignore the storms, to look only at the spiritual, he instead calls us to “Be not afraid” – to trust that he is with us and he has power over the storms. He does not abandon our world but enters it and transforms it. To our turbulent seas he brings peace.


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