Acts 13:14, 43-52
Rev 7:9, 14b-17
When I was little, a child, we used to actually play outside. We didn’t have Nintendo or computer games, or eight million TV channels. We would go outside, run around and play football, and basketball and baseball. We would go out as early as we could, and play outside for as long as we could. When the sun started to go down, and it began to get dark, the front doors of the houses would open and you would begin to hear the voices, mothers calling their children to come in. We heard them calling, but the last thing we wanted to do was go in and stoop playing, so we just chose not to hear. We ignored the calls until they became insistent, and we understood that if we had to go in, now. We would reluctantly go in and make excuses, “I couldn’t hear you, or I didn’t recognize your voice,” or some other equally bad excuse, that never worked. We refused to listen, to hear the call, and it never seemed to work out very well for us. In the first reading today Paul and Barnabas are preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. They begin by preaching to those who should have heard them, their fellow Jews. They had the expectation of a Messiah, they were the ones waiting for a savior, for a redeemer, but for whatever reason they did not hear the call. Perhaps they should have recognized the call of God, but did not.
Then there is us. God calls to us each day, but too often we don’t hear, or recognize the call. But God speaks to us in a variety of ways, every day. God speaks to us in the questions of a child, God speaks to us in the beauty of the sunrise, in the awesome realization that world will go on for one more day. Just the fact that we are alive, that we arte here, in this place that is designed to make life like ours possible, is God speaking to us. In the readings listed at the beginning of this homily, God is speaking to us. Have you read them, do you know what they say. Was the first time you heard them at the Eucharist today, or did you take the time to read them before Mass? God speaks to us, calls to us each day, but like the little child who wants to stay outside just a little longer, we don’t heed the call. We know that hearing, really hearing that call means that we must change. When we hear that call and follow we can never be the same. We, however, don’t want to change. Even when we begin to realize that change is going to be to our benefit, we don’t want to change. We’re afraid to change, so we shut out the call, and try our best to stay outside a little longer. But, just like it was for that child, it never seems to work out very well for us. God is calling us, everyday, waiting for us to come in, to come into the joy, into the love, that is God. Listen to the call. Hear God, and then follow.
Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 29, 2007