Excerpts from Friar Nick Wolfla’s homily on February 18, 2018.
We know the rest of the story – the forty days and nights, the bird, the olive branch. And we see the end of the story – the renewal of the covenant of God. …what did we learn?
1. Don’t miss the boat: We have a loving God, a God who loved this universe into creation. God doesn’t ask for anything more than our opening up to him, loving him and allowing him to change us. Jesus Christ is our Ark. ….
2. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when he built the Ark a. Living for the moment is nice, but sometimes we do need to prepare. Who knows when disaster will strike you or someone you know, or when you finally find the love of your life, or when you’ll be a parent or grandparent. Who knows when or where opportunity to love another will occur? Will our minds be in our phones, and our hearts in our “rights” that we fail to recognize the needs of others and what we need to survive? ….
3. Remember we’re all in the same boat: There is no man or woman that is better than the other. …No one person’s rights are greater than another’s. …. WE ALL ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, we all are loved equally, we are all equal in his eyes, and we are expected no matter what to treat each other as such, to do otherwise is SIN, to do otherwise is EVIL and is a willful turning against God himself and throwing his gifts of life back into his face.
4. Stay Fit. When you’re really old someone may ask you to do something really big: Think about it, age is a number, and age is also a lot of aches and pains. But AGE is never an excuse not to do good, not to serve each other, not to do what is within our abilities to do for one another. …
5. Don’t listen to the critics. Get the job done. In this life people, media, corporations are going to try to tell you that you are the most important person there is. That you and your rights and wants are more important than others. They will try everything they know to turn you away from what is right, what is of God. They will sometimes criticize you for believing, for praying, for doing. Let God strengthen you, keep your prayer life strong, let God give you the armor needed to Get the Job done.
6. Build your future on high ground: WE have so many talents, some do math, some do plumbing, some can create art, some are carpenters, farmers, doctors, lawyers, …. We have the technology, we can do so much. And yet many of us get so caught up in the benefits, reaping of the rewards and the individual satisfaction we forget about each other. We need to always ground ourselves in God, not ourselves. …. We are ALL children of God with dignity and love; we need to be generous to everyone because they are God’s gifts as well, no matter whether or not we believe they deserve it. WE AREN’T THE JUDGE.
7. ALWAYS Travel in pairs: We have a tendency to believe that our individualism is our strength, that we can go it alone. … We don’t do it alone. We go through this life with family, friends, community. More importantly, we walk through life with Jesus Christ at our side, whether we like it or not. ….
8. Speed isn’t everything, the cheetahs were on the Ark like the snails. Sometimes we just have to slow down. Deadlines and schedules are necessary for some things, but are they always? Do we need to schedule every moment of our lives, do we have to be on every team there is, do we have to always keep our families so busy that we can’t eat together? Do we take the time to unplug and talk to each other, or rest our minds? ….
9. When you’re stressed float awhile There comes time when the only cure for the pressure we put on ourselves is to be quiet, to surround ourselves with God’s love and relax. Saves the mind, heart, and soul.
10. The Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals. See which one sank. Where do we put our faith, in “Man” or in God? Remember God gave scientists and others who develop cures, technology, etc the skills to do so. In return we’re asked to use these skills accordingly. It is always God’s gifts utilized by us that moves us forward, … it is BOTH, Faith and Science live hand in hand.
11. No Matter the storm, there’s a rainbow waiting. Think about it. We hear of the covenant with Noah, God’s bow put into the sky. We see the cross – the greatest sign of love there ever was. Who do we trust? Who will get us through? Who is the one we serve, and Who is the one who saves us? There is an agreement between God and us,
i. God: I’ll Always love you, Repent
ii. Us: I’ll try not to screw up even though like you I’ll be tempted.
iii. God: there’s always forgiveness just ask, Repent find strength
iv. Us: please, send the angels to minister to me, give me strength.
v. God: salvation is here, Believe and live the Gospel
vi. Us: let it change my life. Let me be righteous, good and loving. Let me follow the Gospel, bring me into the light, let me serve, let my life be the Gospel.
vii. God: I love you
viii. Us: I love you, too
It’s lent, are we up to it?