I Say it Again, Rejoice!
The following homily was given by Fr. Herbert Nicholls, at the Mother of Light Convent on November 28th, 2018.
Jesus came to His own country, but His own received Him not. People have difficulty recognizing anything that is out of the ordinary, especially with things or people with whom they have been on familiar terms. Its kind of like, But we’ve always done it this way, why do we need to change now?
Jesus’ neighbors throw a battalion of questions at Him. Where does He get all this from? Is He not the Carpenter’s Son? Is He not the brother of James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Are not all His sisters here in Nazareth? Why Him and not us? The ugly head of jealousy peeks out of the darkness of resentment.
People did not understand Jesus for Who He was. Sometimes, perhaps often, people do not understand us for who we are. Being misunderstood is never easy, sometimes it can be quite painful. We should not kid ourselves. It was not easy for the God-Man to be misunderstood. It is no less difficult for the good man or woman to be misunderstood.
Now this is the Glorious Season of our Savior’s birth, a time to rejoice in hope, rejoice even in the darkness, for these wounds will make you more like your beloved.
These “little things” are like the fingers of God, the Father conforming you into the image of His Son, who suffered misunderstandings for your salvation. Slowly, these fingers of God will work with the fingers of time like two hands at a potter’s wheel to shape you until you become more like the ‘Christ’.
You will be shaped and shaped, not knowing that you are being shaped. You will experience great darkness, great aridity, great temptation, a lent that is not limited to 40 days. But remember St. Paul’s words, I say it again rejoice!
We are the Family of God
The following homily was given by Fr. Herbert Nicholls, at the Mother of Light Convent on November 29th, 2018.
Every human being has a deep desire to belong. We long to be part of a loving family. We want to be accepted and respected by our peers and superiors. We want our concerns to be listened to and understood. In a word we want to be loved, as an icon of God who is Love. If we really identify with these longings, then what we are experiencing is a wanting to belong to God.
Try to imagine Jesus’ thoughts as He looked at this group of people assembled before Him. Maybe something like this: Father, I love them so much! I know how confused and prone to failure they can become; but I know also how deeply they long to know You. Thankyou for giving me such a wonderful family of faith.
What did Jesus see when He looked around at His friends and enemies…surely He knew what an immature and motley crew they were. He knew how difficult it was for them to grasp what He was trying to tell them.
Over and over again we read: The word remained hidden from them. He knew that they genuinely desired to do His Father’s will, why else would they leave so much behind to become a disciple? But Jesus also knew that what He was trying to teach here would be much more potential than reality.
But Jesus placed this motley crew on the same level as His own Mother. Sit with that for a moment later today. Let Him tell you that He thinks as much about You as He does His brothers, sisters and mother.
Yes, you are in exactly the same situation, you want to please Him, you want to follow Him, but sometimes you think that what He asks of you is crazy.
We need to ask ourselves, How willing am I to risk every thing for the sake of the Gospel? We are willing to study the Gospel, to hear what Jesus says, we are willing to know about Him but when it comes to surrendering to Him, that is a difficult question.
We can become wrapped up in reflection in Doctrine, the examination of Church and community law, the latest techniques and proposals for making our apostolate more appealing and successful, but all of these can become a substitute for actual surrender of our life to the Gospel.
Jesus knows that you will stumble. It is inevitable. He stumbled three times on the way to Calvary. But you can be just as sure that Jesus loves you at every moment, just as you are. So have no fear, be humble, be submissive, be saved.