Sunday, June 13, 2021 By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
The last few Sundays have felt as though we were still in the Easter Season because of Holy Trinity Sunday and then the Body and Blood of Christ. The priests wore white vestments which were worn throughout the Easter Season as well.
In reality, we entered back into Ordinary Time on May 24th. Our readings this Sunday remind us that heaven is our true home and that we cannot make it there without God’s assistance.
In our First Reading, the prophet Ezekiel foretells the coming of the Kingdom of God. We can see that Jesus is the “majestic cedar” that will become refuge for all people. He will humble the proud, lift up the lowly and produce good fruit in the weakened. It is God who does the wondrous works.
We often go through life wanting to be in control. We try to solve all our problems, as we think, “I can do it myself.” We cling to our own ideas by putting certain events, future plans, or even day-to-day moments into a perfect little box, “This is the way I want it.” We can even push back in moments of suffering by trying to find every possible way to get out of it. We are “in control.”
Imagine what life would be like if we surrendered a little more. It is easier said than done — but, oh, how freeing it would be. What if we opened our clenched hands to God and said, “Thy will be done”? We would become free from attachment and more blessed than we could ever imagine.
Only God can do all that He promised in our First Reading. We need Him. All we need to do is surrender. To help us on this journey of total surrender, try starting each day with a prayer of surrender, “Lord, I give You this day and all that You have in store for me, my family and friends.” With the guidance of the Lord, surely, we will make it home to heaven.
When I celebrate weddings and funerals, I refer to our Church as a spiritual home here on earth. I also communicate that even though the Church is the House of God it is also their spiritual home here on earth and we want to make them feel welcomed and that they belong. This weekend, June 12th & 13th, the various parishes of the Diocese of Orange are coordinating a reopening of parishes for worship and business. The Diocese of Orange calls the theme of this weekend “Gather and Rejoice Together in Christ.” This weekend we are making a special effort that all who come to Saint Joachim Church will feel welcomed, that they belong, and that this is their spiritual home as well as God’s House.