Sometimes people wonder why God is talked about so much in homilies, as opposed to the political or other situations of the day. I admit that there are other subjects to discuss. I’m sure of it. So why so much talk about God?
The answer is one needs a good foundation to do anything well. Many things can be important, but some things are more important than others. When I was in the seminary, an example was presented to me in the following manner. If I am the greatest believer in God you ever met, but I don’t believe in Purgatory, I am at best a defective Catholic. However, if I am the greatest believer in Purgatory you ever met, but I don’t believe in God, then I am not even a Christian anymore. In a deep sense I just excommunicated myself, and not just from Catholicism but from the entire Christian family. Conclusion? In this case example, although believing in God and Purgatory is important for a Catholic Christian, it is still more important to believe in God.
In like fashion, many themes can be explored and discussed by all of us. However, to understand anything well, we have to have the best possible perspective. And to achieve such a lofty goal as this, God has to be primary in our lives. Understanding God’s ways and being with Him is just more important than our other interests, and yet this takes nothing away from our other interests. They ARE important. It is just that God is more important.
Looking further, once we have this God-oriented perspective and understand it due to our deepening relationship with God, how can we apply this newly gained perspective well, so that our attempt to achieve our goals is successful? Here too, it can only happen with God’s help and by His Grace. With God, so much is possible.
The Bible is filled with stories offering evidence of this reality. Throughout Scripture, we are given many opportunities. If we give ourselves to God and reflect on His Word as the Bible says, “day and night,” (or “always” in other words), the Lord assures success for us. But if we turn away from God, and the Bible offers many examples of these types of bad (ultimately evil) decisions too, we typically come to a bad end.
With these lessons in mind, offered by Church teaching and our own reflections on life, we as clergy decide to talk about God primarily. We know that cementing ourselves in God is a win all the way down the line. Please remember that our God is a living God, and is always with us as a result. So, even as we listen about God in a homily, for example, we are still exposed to the news and the resulting discussions of the day. We are exposed to the news through many formats, e.g., magazines, newspapers, television and radio news broadcasts.
It is more to the point, therefore, that we are encountering the world and deepening our relationship with God at the same time. What this means is that our perspective is widening precisely at the same time we are relating to the world. Our living God continues to inspire, to heal, and to guide. In this way, it is not unrealistic to expect that God will help us to relate to the world and to each other, and in the best possible way. And if we bring God into our discussions about current events with others, we can expect to be blessed as a result.
The people we discuss these matters with will be blessed as well.
Blessings, Fr. Walter