The Voice of Change by Ed Nussey
I want to change the world.
I wanted to invent a new car engine.
Or just make the difference.
You say you want a revolution
Well, we all want to change your head:
Just like the song said.
I discovered first I need a change of heart.
I changed my religion;
Was baptized an RC in the RCIA.
If the world is to change,
It needs the Sacrament of Conversion;
You change for the better,
Every time you take Communion.
Each time you say a little prayer;
Prayer changes things.
It changes lives for good: says UCB.
According to Red Green: I can change; if I have to -
Change just for the sake of change is pointless.
Change one soul at a time.
I hate change! We need change.
He can’t change. I need a change.
Nothing is going to change,
Homily on Penchant or Passion by Ed Nussey, the 9th December, ‘2011
Scripture Texts - Matthew 10:37-39, Psalm 120:6-7 & Philippians 3:12-16
Coping is the topic of today. Many times in my life, due to medical, social, economic or religious reasons, I’ve felt I couldn’t cope. A great man once said: all you need in life is to be passionate about something. If you are truly passionate about a thing you will have a penchant for doing good, however. It will empower you, you will have well-being, and everything will be well with the world. Before I sound too New Age, I will say I don’t believe you will arrive at the same end if your passion is to give dues to the Devil and your penchant is to practice witchcraft, if it is atheism and be humanitarian, or agnostic and philanthropy. These could well be means of coping.
When I was a boy, I had attention deficits, and was scrawny, later pudgy. I contemplated dating at way too young an age. We came from a lower/middle class neighbourhood. And we went to a "Holy Rollers’" church. I coped by developing a passion for sports. Soccer, swimming, skating, hiking, curling and track and field; I actually became involved with them, but I was only on the curling team. So competitive sports: football, hockey and even baseball to some extent relegated to armchair athletics. But I went out to games, played "touch", and "scrub"; even today: watching the Grey Cup or World Series final with a friend, the Belleville Bulls and going to the Y, help me cope. I wasn’t destined for the Olympics but isn’t that the difference between just being passionate and doing something about it.
Model building, stories, comics, and studies were all coping mechanisms for an only child. My parents were older and though they both believed in me, spent time with me, which helped me cope, they couldn’t spend a lot of time with me due to lack of energy and workload. Kids’ clubs, and youth groups helped too. I became passionate about rebelling as a youth in the sixties. You see people in the occupations/tent cities displaying their passion today. At least they aren’t as complacent as my evangelical friends about economic uncertainties, who advocate wars. I would like to stay friends with them and do support our troops. The Peace of Christ is the only means to end conflicts in the world, I believe. I am as passionate about this as I have ever been in my life.
You can’t straddle the fence, just wait for something to happen to you, expect a doctor, worker, teacher, parent or even a friend to get you through; you have to have a passion yourself. It has been times in my life when all those or one of others have believed in me that I did pull through. And they empowered me to believe in myself. And the Lord is all of the above to me. Just having faith does not suffice; show me your works St. James said. Jesus was clear: you have to take up your cross and follow Christ.
The Lord’s passion was for souls. He many times had compassion on the masses and healed individual physical and spiritual illnesses. His penchant was to show he cared. Turning water into wine at a request from Mary, so that hosts would not be even embarrassed from lack. We have a new Covenant in Him in Blood. Blood of Christ inebriate me. We are not drunk with new wine as the people thought the Apostles were at Pentecost. Through Jesus, God gives us the Eucharist and Confession, the Sacraments, which are my passion and my penchant and have been ever since I was confirmed. Confirmation means empowered and committed.
But cafeteria Catholics aren’t coping with the challenges of modern life. The reformation of the Church took place under Luther and contemporary St. Teresa of Avilla. She saw the need to reform and did so within the Church. Her idea was everybody is called to holiness and she was a saint. St. John of the Cross and she took our Carmelites from hypocrisy to being ablaze with the Lord. But the Protestants tossed out the baby with the bath water. The Babe of Bethlehem is ignored by a baptism into church membership nominalism. Enrollment without Communion and Reconciliation; originally to permit a divorce: King Henry VIII’s. True communion is in spirit and in truth and forgiving and being forgiven is from the heart.
St. Therese of Liseux called it her little way. A Carmelite who would agree you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Whether it is self love, doubt, your personal religious beliefs, you feel God has blessed you and your faith is sufficient, your cult, fanaticism, however fundamental your hypocrisy, you will one day have to own up to your works. You will have to say whether they were done for the Devil or for the Lord, in order to cope. Only what’s done for the Lord lasts. In as much as we do something for others, it’s counted as done to the Lord, good or bad.
All things work together for good when we are called to God’s purpose. Then we can cope. Blessed Theresa of Calcutta is an example of seeing Christ in others, having a passion for souls and a penchant for works of mercy. For the many times I’ve mercilessly paid the Devil his due, failed to show mercy, or passionlessly did nothing, Lord have mercy. Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on me and on the whole World. And may our penchant to do good be an example to change the World. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Homily on the 1st Coming
2K yrs. ago, give or take, there, in a cattle shed, there was the most amazing Peace. A peace had come into the World. It came to pass, an understanding God reconciled to Creation. He came to Earth as a baby. Joseph’s donkey, a status symbol of the day, parked outside a meager inclosure, rested after a weary journey. With other rural animals eating hay, not from their manger, for there wrapped in clothes, the newborn baby lay. Mary rode into Bethlehem on it. Expecting Him of Whom the Prophets had foretold; would deliver her people from evil. The Roman’s, the occupying force’s Governor’s order, stranger than strange, had required them to participate in a Census, in the town of Joseph’s, her fiance’s people’s, origin; and she felt she had to make the 80 mile walk with him.
She was still a virgin. It was the Holy Spirit, God Himself, Who created Jesus, formed in her womb. Her husband to be was a direct descendant of King David, one of the greatest King’s that ever lived. Now this Child was God, consubstantial with the Father, from both of Whom the Holy Spirit proceeds. One Incarnate deity, one trinity: we are confirmed in our Faith. And so a King was born. The Prince of Peace, that one day all peoples will recognize His Dominion, which was from His infancy, will know no end. A bright star, a juxtaposition, shone overhead, to mark the place. So Magi saw this, and would make the journey too. To worship the Ruler of the Universe, to bring Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. A good thing too, for they only had what little they could carry; had responsibilities to Rome, the Temple, and for His burial.
He would one day ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, Hailed as their deliverer, only to suffer the Jew’s and Rome’s cruelty and crucifixion, dying for our omission’s, but to rise again from the dead. And he went into Heaven in a cloud, where He is at the right hand of the Father, to come from, a 2nd time to Earth, to rule with Peace and Justice, the whole World, those living, and those gone before us.
But that night it was Peace and Joy that could be felt. The Virgin gave birth to a Child, but there wasn’t any loud lament. In fact, in the heavens there appeared an Angel, to announce the Good Tidings, the Gospel, to some hillside shepherds. Peace and goodwill: the angel band burst into song. So the poor shepherds were inspired to go to the shed and join the donkey, the other animals, Mary and Joseph, and worship the Infant Lord. For He was their Savior, the Angel said, the Savior of the World, to Deliver us from sin.
He is our Savior. He is my Savior. In a very troubled time, whatever threatens to destroy the World, just as the 1st coming brought justice and peace, so too, the 2nd coming brings peace and justice. I am at peace!