Father Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for 4th Sunday in Easter
April 30, 2023, Luke 24: 15-35
We know that diet and exercise help us to stay healthy and please God; we do all we can to take care of our bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit. However, when we get a pain that won’t go away and try our remedies, we go to the doctor. We do the same when our car starts making a funny noise or acting up; we take it to the garage to see what is wrong.
Our relationship with the Lord and other people deserves the same treatment. Our relationships with people, especially family and friends, are an excellent barometer of our relationship with the Lord. We hear voices in our heads (thoughts) when something happens between us and other people.
It can be anything a person says or does that hurt us. Of course, our immediate reaction is to defend ourselves, and this is very natural. However, I know from experience that voice is not the kindest. Stress and thoughts of anger push that person away from my heart. They also put a distance between me and the Lord. In the gospel, Jesus calls this voice the thief. He steals our hearts from the Good Shepherd.
It takes discipline and repentance to shut that thief down in my head and start listening to the Good Shepherd. His voice is filled with peace and thoughts of mercy for anyone who steps on our toes and worse.
In my heart, I hear Jesus saying from His Cross, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” So I want to make excuses for the people who hurt me like Jesus made excuses for me when I sin.
It is amazing how Jesus can turn something horrible into a healing moment when I listen to His voice and not the thief’s voice in my head. Then you know what happens? By the grace of God, I become a good shepherd and gate for people to be in a relationship with Jesus. Then I let Him pick up the ball.
What a tradeoff – pain and division with someone I love for peace and good relations with a potential enemy. But, of course, it all depends on who I follow, the thief or the Good Shepherd.
My friends, listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd.
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC