By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 5 Apr 2024

HOMILY from Maddie and The Deacon Richard Benkovic

The one word that I thought about after reading the first reading and the gospel was the word relationship. In the first reading we hear about Samuel and Eli and their relationship with God the Father, in the Gospel we hear how Peter and Andrew begin their relationship with Jesus. With that said I would like to start my homely with a story about relationships.

This story is about a lawyer who lived 100 miles away from his elderly father. They had not seen each other in a number of years. The father called up his son and asks, “When are you going to visit.” The son proceeds to tell him about all the demands on his time with meetings, going to court, and so on and so on. So, the father says to the son, “When I die do you intend to come to my funeral?” The son responds, “Of course I’d come to your funeral.” The father replies, “Good, let’s make a deal, forget the funeral. I need you more now than I will then.”

What is the meaning of life? Many great philosophers and religious leaders have given various answers to that question. But only Jesus Christ has given the complete answer in today’s Gospel passage. John the Baptist, who has been preparing his own disciples to recognize the Messiah sees Jesus walking along the bank of the Jordan River. John points at him and tells his two disciples that he is the One, the Lamb of God, the Messiah. As the two disciples approach Jesus, Jesus asks them: “What are you looking for?” In other words, where are you searching for meaning in your life? Surprised by the question, they just say, “Teacher, where are you staying?” Jesus invites them to walk with him, to be his companions. That is Christ’s answer to the question of the meaning of life. The meaning of life is a relationship to be lived out, it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

            If the meaning of life is to be found in the relationship with Christ, then our highest priority in life is to try and deepen that relationship. There are three ways to do this. First, we have to develop a life of prayer. Prayer no only involves saying prayers but it also involves reading and meditating on the Bible and filling our hearts with gratitude for God’s many gifts. Second, we have to build our lives around the sacraments. We must open our hearts to God in confession and receiving the body of Christ in Holy Communion. And third to deepen our friendship with Christ. Friendship with Christ, means wanting and working for whatever Christ wants. Today’s Psalm puts it beautifully: “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.” Prayer, sacraments and obedience to Christ’s plan, these are the foundation of a meaningful life. A life with a relationship with Christ which will reach an everlasting fulfillment in heaven.

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