Remember All That God Has Done For Us
Homily for Thursday of the Fourth Week in Easter
At the end of the first reading for today’s liturgy, someone should have put in parentheses, “to be continued.” The exhortation that Paul gives to the people gathered in the synagogue of Antioch will continue tomorrow. However, today it would be advantageous for us to consider what it means to give an exhortation to people.
Invited by the synagogue officials at Antioch to speak a word of exhortation, Paul called the God-fearing there present in the synagogue to listen again to the story of how God loves them. God chose their ancestors to be his people. Then they were given land as an inheritance, a king, and a promise of a savior. Paul further reminded them that they, and all the people of Israel, were called by John to a baptism of repentance in preparation of receiving that savior. This gift of baptism was evidence of the kindness and faithfulness of God that is established forever. We are baptized into the life and death of Jesus, which frees us from our sins. But that is not the end of it. Through Christ, we are given this freedom so that we can live our lives with great spiritual maturity and abundance.
In the piece of St. Paul speech that we hear today, he is simply reminding them of their history and their relationship to God. Obviously, reminding the children of Israel of their responsibility is going to lead to something else. It is the “something else” that we will hear tomorrow. However, this reminder that St. Paul gives his fellow Jews is also given to us. We need to remember the good things that God has done for each of us. Notice that the responsorial psalm emphasizes the need to remember all that God has done for us. With the psalmist we pray: “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”
Our celebration of the Eucharist is just one way for us to follow that exhortation. When we celebrate the presence of Jesus in our midst, we remember what he did to save us and to give us eternal life.