Father Nathan Homily | February 14, 2021
The Cleansing of a Leper.
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
— Mk 1 40:41
Doing everything for the glory of God
Seek the good in others
Be imitators of Christ
Today in the modern and computer world, knowledge and information are positively dumped all over the world. It’s there in our hand. Any information we need, we can get in a second or a minute. Hence the world, even though it seeks information for its survival, extremely longs for INSPIRING PEOPLE, who could talk or communicate to them by their way of life.
The world longs for models or inspirations, not of knowledge.
Knowledge is of the mind and inspiration of life. That’s so beautifully brought to us by the second reading. I believe this reading sets a tone for our family and community life. There are three qualities or characters set before us to follow:
- Do everything for the glory of God;
- Seek the good of others; and
- Be imitators of Christ.
The first two qualities are indispensable to be the imitators of God. When we do everything for the glory of God and seek the good of others, or when we seek the good of others and do everything for the glory of God, eventually we become imitators of God.
St. Paul the Apostle, original name Saul of Tarsus, one of the leaders of the first generation of Christians, is often considered to be the most important person after Jesus in the history of Christianity. In his own day, although he was a major figure within the very small Christian movement, his contemporaries probably did not accord him as much respect as they gave Peter and James.
Paul was compelled to struggle, therefore, to establish his own worth and authority. His surviving letters, however, have had an enormous influence on subsequent Christianity and secure his place as one of the greatest religious leaders of all time. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, 13 are attributed to Paul, and approximately half of another, Acts of the Apostles, deals with Paul’s life and works. Thus, about half of the New Testament stems from Paul and the people whom he influenced. For most of his life, it was almost a challenge and problem. He was faithful to Christ amidst all of his problems just because he followed a few spiritualities in his life.
One of the spiritualties of St. Paul is being an imitator of Christ. He is so proud that he just imitates Christ, his Master. That’s what his spirituality is all about: that he is the imitator of Christ. His spirituality circles around imitating Christ.
St. Paul never speaks about making disciples. Paul calls others to imitate him.
Gandhi’s favorite quote:
“Let the change begin from you,” he continued, “My life is a lesson.”
St. Paul makes an explicit call to imitate him:
“Therefore, I urge you, imitate me.” (1 Cor 4:16);
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1)
- “Join others in being imitators of me, and observe those who conduct themselves according to the model you have in me.” (Phil 3:17)
- Pastoral Problem – Then and Now: “Imitate me, because it is no longer I, Paul, who lives. But it is Christ who lives within me.” (Gal 2:20)
St. John Paul II addressing the Catholic Educators in Newfoundland, September 12, 1984 said the following:
“To teach means not only to impart what we know, but also to reveal who we are by living what we believe. It is this latter lesson which tends to last the longest.”
St. Paul urged and guided his followers to a method to imitate Christ. The method is so simple and it’s one-to-one influence. Let me explain this way:
St. Paul imitated Christ. Just because he imitated Christ, the Thessalonians imitated him. The Thessalonians imitated the churches in Judea and other churches imitated the Thessalonians.
(1 Thess 1:5-8) He beautifully talks about it…“Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the LORD, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia; your faith in God has become known everywhere.”
So in today’s Mass, let us ask for the grace of Jesus that we will be able to inspire people by our way of life. Let us always seek the good of others in our home, in our worshiping community. Let us try to do everything for the greater glory of God all the time in our life; hence, we will become an inspiration to the world.
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
July 14 We Celebrate St. Kateri Tekakwitha – Patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile, and Native Americans.
First Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church
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Church tradition dedicates the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ways to show devotion to Mary during the month of May.
April 18, 2021, Third Sunday of Easter. The majority of our parish has had a vaccine. It is time to move back to our regular mood of life.
At the Easter Vigil, the Exsultet is sung as Mass begins in darkness, illumined only by candles throughout the church. The Exsultet is a beautiful hymn of rejoicing in Christ’s triumph of sin and death.