March 5, 2017
There were 4 priests at the funeral for Mr. Ganzer at St. Patrick’s and I was assigned to offer the homily. After the funeral a lady called me complaining about my homily. She said that the people laughed so hard and loud. Actually one person said he couldn’t focus during Mass after that homily! We are supposed to be sad at funerals, aren’t we? Then she went on talking about thousands of other things. At the end she bitterly said, “What did you talk about in your homily anyway? I can’t remember.”
I replied, “Good, Ma’am. That makes us even.” More annoyed, in her voice she yelled, “What do you mean by that?”
“Mam, I spoke 8 minutes, the people felt comforted and hope-filled and you can’t remember a thing. I patiently held the receiver for 45 minutes, do you expect me to remember what you were talking about?” She really laughed then.
God spent only 15 seconds to tell Adam and Eve: “Do not eat the fruit of this tree.” They didn’t remember! The word of God fell on deaf ears!
This Sunday’s second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans talks about two men, who, more than anyone else, influenced the history of our salvation. The first is Adam, through whom sin and death entered into the world and humankind began to carry the deadly sentence! The other is Jesus, through whom humankind is once more reconciled to God and grace and eternal life is restored to us.
There is a big difference between our sharing in Adam’s loss and our sharing in Christ’s merits. Since Adam is the father of all humankind, it can be said that all humankind was literally in Adam’s loins. I just ignore Eve, as the two of them, husband and wife are one. Adam’s DNA is stamped in the DNA of all humanity. Original sin, therefore, is our genetic inheritance from Adam. But we cannot make the same argument for Jesus Christ. The DNA of Jesus has been passed down to all humanity only by choice. Our belonging to Adam is by nature. We have nothing to say in the matter. But our belonging to Christ is our decision. That is why all humankind inherits Adam’s fallen human
nature, whether we like it or not. But it is only those who choose to belong to Christ that will inherit the blessings that Christ has won for humanity.
Lent is the opportune time of the year when the Church reminds us of what Christ has done for us and invites us to make a conscious decision to belong to Christ. I urge you during this Lent to reflect on how you belong to Christ and use one sentence or one word in the Bible and keep it as your Lenten resolution. For me I take this one from Psalm 95: ”If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”
This Sunday our RCIA candidates are going to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Calgary, and publicly make their choice to belong to Christ in the Rite of Election with Bishop William McGrattan. Please pray for them.