Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Want to hear some interesting but probably useless information?  In my bible the Old Testament contains 1,598 pages focused on God the Father and the 4 Gospels consists of only 159 pages, all  focused on Jesus.  But in the Creed that we will say today there are 16 words about what we believe of the Father and 128 words about what we believe of Jesus.  Why the big reversal?  Because of the Gospel that was just proclaimed.  In this Gospel Jesus makes it clear that He is divine, He is God.  Whoever sees me, and what I do, sees God and what God is all about.  Whatever we say in the Creed about Jesus we are saying about God.  God wrapped himself in flesh, became one of us to show us what divinity is all about: a life of caring for others, a life of healing, forgiving.  A life of love. 

And that is what we are called to do.  Why?  Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones that these, because I am going to the Father.”  So we are called not just to be followers of Christ but to be Christ.  We are joined to Christ so that he may live and act in the world today through us.  The whole of Christianity, the whole of the spiritual life is summed up in this one idea - Christ wants to live his life in the world through us!  Easy to say but not always easy to do.  Where do we get the strength to be Christ in the world?  From the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.  When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, divine life flows into us and just as the Father is in Christ, Christ is in us.  So, what does “doing the works that Christ does” look like?  Three thoughts, three things that characterized Christ’s life on earth, the life we are called on to continue.  We are called on to give life, to heal and to forgive.

Jesus was a “life-giver,” he made the people around him full of life; physically, spiritually, emotionally.  Are people more alive because we are around them?  Do we make people feel special, important, listened to?  In the Gospel Jesus listens to the disciples, listens to Thomas, listens to Philip and then comforts them, eases their fears, teaches them.  But first he listened.  People know we care when we listen to them.  When we are with others do we give them our time and undivided attention or do we look at our watch and wonder how long they are going to talk?

Jesus was a healer.  We read over and over again about Christ healing the people he came in contact with.  Maybe we can’t cure someone physically but we have the power to heal.  We can heal others through our words, our gestures, our actions, acts of kindness, simple care.  What do our words do in a typical day?  Who do we know or come in contact with that needs healing?  We should ask ourselves at the end of the day “did I heal people today or wound them?”  If we healed today, then we allowed Jesus to live his life through us.

First and foremost Jesus forgave people.  And not just in words, in actions also.  He sat at table with saints and sinners, welcomed despised tax collectors, taught his disciple to pray daily for the grace to forgive others.  How forgiving are we?  Are we willing to forgive with a positive action, a phone call, a handshake, a hug?  Are we willing to forgive when we know the forgiveness won’t be returned, when we will still be crucified? 

When we approach the altar and receive Christ’s Body and Blood and affirm that with our “Amen” we are really saying, “Lord, live in me today so I may give life, heal and forgive as you did.”  Don’t say Amen casually.