You would think that Valentine’s day is not the best day in the world to be celibate, but I got one of the world’s best Valentine’s day cards. A person who does not have a significant other is not living without love, because God’s love is always there for us. In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus tells us about God’s love, and teaches us to love the way God loves and not the way that comes naturally to us. We can’t just love when it’s easy, we also need to love when it’s hard. +
Jesus wants us to address the very roots of our sin: the selfishness in the human heart. We need to be pure to welcome the Lord himself. Jesus helps us; walk with Him and nothing is impossible.
Jesus has given us the light of faith so that we can share it with others. There are many ways to share, including giving money. Often we feel that we barely have enough for ourselves, and we cannot afford to share too much with others. The truth is that we if we have something, then we have something that we can share. In addition to money, one of our most precious commodities is time. Often we feel that we barely have enough time to get our own work done, and we cannot afford to stop and take time with others. The truth is that if we make time for others, our work somehow manages to get done.
Today we showed a video in church to start the Bishop’s Appeal [the “homily” here is the audio version distributed to parishes]. Last year we raised over $5 million to support all kinds of ministries: Catholic Charities, our summer camp, the Department of Education, and many other things. Thank you in advance for your generosity. For more information visit CatholicFoundationGB.org
The Feast of the Presentation reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world. We have been given our faith at baptism, but our faith is a living thing and it needs to grow. Like other living things, faith needs food, water, and shelter. The food that our faith needs is the Word of God and Holy Communion. The water that our faith needs is prayer. The shelter that our faith needs is the Church.
On the Feast of the Presentation, God visits His temple. Later his sacrifice atones for our Darkness. The Grammy awards remind us who we need to be: Elderly who speak of Jesus, and the Young who protect the Light. Today God visits the temple of your body; offer your life through Him, with Him, and in Him as a sacrifice of Love.
Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple because He was Mary’s first-born Son. At the same time, God is showing His Son to some of God’s friends: Simeon and Anna are people of prayer and they are some of God’s friends. God also uses Simeon to talk to Mary and Joseph about who Jesus will be, and how she will have to suffer. Mary, however, would say that all the suffering was worth it!