On Sunday I presided at our community Eucharist here at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville. I thought I’d pass along a link to the video and a short excerpt of my homily for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time.
The video can be viewed by visiting this link: http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/videos and clicking on the link titled “2/07/2016.” The homily begins at about 21:30.
Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time:
Holiness does not mean that you are strange, or weird. Rather, I think today’s readings tell us something quite different about what happens when we are seized by an image of the utter holiness of God. And in both the Old Testament and the Gospel (and you can see why the people that made the lectionary chose these two readings) we see that the response to the holiness of God involves first, radical self honesty and then a call to get up and do something, And I find both of those two things surprising.
First off, the radical self honesty. I find it surprising that after Isaiah has his image of the temple shaking, and its filled with smoke and there are angels all bowing before God and the first thing he says is, “I am a man of unclean lips.”
Similarly, in the Gospel reading, after our Lord and God Jesus works the miracle, the miraculous catch of fish, Simon says “I am a sinful man.”
I would have thought the first response would have been to sing Holy God We Praise Thy Name or something like that. But they both say, I am a sinner. I take this to mean, not that we put ourselves down and grovel in a self-centered sort of way, but rather, this awesome image of God’s wonderful holiness surrounds us and encourages us so that we can be honest. So we can tell the truth.