Deacon Arnold’s homily of February 5

Deacon Arnold shared a beautiful homily last Sunday Morning.  He gave permission to share it online.   This is taken from his notes, so not a word-for-word as he preached it at Mass.


Deacon Arnold’s Homily in outline form.
Sunday Feb. 5, 2012


Job 7:1-4, 6-7/Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6/1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23/Mark 1:29-39

I. Bugging me all week: All who were Ill

From the  Gospel :

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Many were cured, not all.

Job, today, has also caught the unique difference in God’s healing.  And although Job is righteous – he has experienced much of what we experience, although we don’t experience it all at once:  loss of family, loss of food and shelter, loss of a means of living, loss of health – and yet Job does no blame God.

Like Job, we also see the need to ask God “why”.  Why heal that person and not me?  Whey provide a job for that one and not me? We constantly compare our plight to the plight of others.

II. Jesus miracles draw us in to the mystery of God’s love.

His life, always in service to others filled others with wonder and still others-like the Pharisees, scribes, the lawyers who couldn’t accept the choice to follow Jesus and perhaps ourselves at various times in our lives- became filled with indignation and anger thinking perhaps God had passes them over.

Jesus showed us where the truth lies in our love for God:

Jesus died on the cross that we may be forgiven for our sins.  He opened up the path to salvation: a path He shoes to walk, a path filled with disdain and honor, sorrow and joy, hatred and love.  He laid down his life for us.

III. Does it mean we must suffer?

Or does it mean we try to see things God’s way, accept what life has thrown at us do we may begin the healing, begin to see that path God has set before us.  Rather than ask: Why me, ask why not?

IV.  God said No.  

In November of 2005, a parishioner sent the following to me- saying that someday I would use it.  So today, I am using it.

I asked God to grant me patience
God said NO
Patience is the fruit of tribulations.  It isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said NO
You must grow on your own, at your own pace.  But I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life
God said NO
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things

I asked God to take away my habit
God said NO
It is not for me to take it away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole
God said NO
His spirit it whole, his body only temporary

I asked God for happiness, a life without problems.
God said NO
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to help me love others as much as he loved me.
God said, Ahhh, finally you have the idea.

V. Jesus is clear about his purpose.

He has come to preach the Gospel-the Gospel of God’s love – God’s love, not ours.
God’s love: mysterious and unconditional.  Our love: laced with bias and selfishness.
God’s love: which is right and just. Out love: with its hidden agendas and judgement.

It is only when we are willing to let go and let God that we begin to find peace, answers and healing.

VI.  CSC – Catholic Spiritual Companions

You will hear more about it in the coming weeks, but it is a new outreach program to assist Catholics and their families through the dying process

VII- CSC is just one way that we share the Gospel

We also share it through St. Vincent de Paul serving the poor; DISMAS: serving those in the House of Corrections;  Bereavement, helping those who mourn; Visiting shut-ins, and those in hospitals and nursing homes; being good teachers as parents and being the example of faith for others.  Like Paul we are commanded to share this Gospel: Go and announce the Good News of the Lord: Not ours – His!


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