Friday, August 12, 2022

Homilies

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.
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Childlike

Homily for Wednesday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

At the end of his life, St. Thomas Aquinas said, “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me…I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.”

As Jesus cautions in today’s gospel, it is not through learning or wisdom that we come to know God. We could plumb the depths of philosophy and theology like Aquinas and still fall far short of knowing God because God reveals himself through something much simpler: the childlike disposition of love.

Blessed Basil Moreau wisely cautioned that “the mind will not be educated at the expense of the heart.” He knew that even if the Congregation of the Holy Cross built towering educational institutions, imparting only intellectual knowledge would fall short of their mission. To know God is not simply to understand divine nature or the doctrine of the Church but to love God.

This love is the love of a child for a perfect Father. It is not proud and boastful. It is humble and trusting. It is quiet and good. It is a love formed in the silence of prayer and invisible acts of charity.

Anyone who has ever had the joy of preparing young children for their First Holy Communion has witnessed this kind of love. Children often approach their First Holy Communion with anticipation and often are filled with joy after they have received the Body of Christ. The mind of a seven or eight-year-old child could never absorb the metaphysical argument for transubstantiation, and the child needn’t do so. They approach Jesus with trust and love, and he reveals himself directly through their hearts.

So today, let us quiet our minds, quick and bright as they may be, and ask God to reveal himself in the silence and simplicity of our love for him. Let us look to God with the trusting faith of a child, cultivating our love for God above all else!

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