Published on:

22nd Apr 2020

It's alive! (2nd Wednesday of Easter)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Life. Life is a wondrous thing. We are so used to it we are rarely ever surprised by it. Yet the gift of life is something so unexpected, such an interruption of our existence with something, someone new - suddenly there is this person where there once was nobody. Out of the drought-dried, brown, hard, dead grass next to our parish - with only the addition of water through a rainfall, suddenly it is green and new and thriving and bigger than it was. The gift of life is something truly amazing, which we don’t take enough time to appreciate. To breathe. To stop in the day and say: I am alive.

And it is in this sense that what Jesus speaks to us about today is so, pardon the pun, vital. ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. This is what Jesus is trying to communicate to Nicodemus: humanity is killing itself, struggling in the sticky morass of sin and unfreedom. Jesus came to burst this open: to give us free and thriving life now, today, where I am on the earth. The Church has the same mission: this is why she does not busy herself primarily with what all the other groups are doing, but is always called to renew her radical commitment to proclaim belief in the risen Christ: ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ How are we going with that?

Let us pray:

As we recall year by year the mysteries

by which, through the restoration of its original dignity,

human nature has received the hope of rising again,

we earnestly beseech your mercy, Lord,

that what we celebrate in faith

we may possess in unending love.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Show artwork for The Furnace

About the Podcast

The Furnace
The Furnace is a free brief daily homily podcast by a priest of the Emmanuel Community for the Archdiocese of Sydney. The aim of the podcast is to proclaim the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the "glowing furnace of love" (St Gertrude the Great).
Why The Furnace? Quite simply because most people in Australia, and the
world, can no longer get to Mass, or even into a church. The point of these
podcasts is to bring people a share of the Mass in the Word of God and prayer.
But why the name? Because the Heart of Jesus is a “Furnace of love”. This
is how St Gertrude the Great describes it. As she prays:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
fountain of eternal life,
Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love.
You are my refuge and my sanctuary.
O my adorable and loving Saviour,
consume my heart with the burning fire
with which Yours is aflamed.
Pour down on my soul those graces
which flow from Your love.
Let my heart be united with Yours.
Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things.
May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions.

The point of these homilies is first of all to share this with everyone - to
share the love of God’s heart with every human heart. There is nothing original
about that. This is, basically, all priests are ever trying to do. And it’s the only
real point of the Catholic Church: invented by Christ to share Christ, starting
from his pierced heart on the cross on Good Friday. It’s only fitting that at this
time each of us are being refitted with slightly larger crosses that our creator
comes to meet us from the cross with his own heart pierced and broken.

There is so much I could say about the Heart of Jesus - but I would have
to go on forever, because his Heart is infinite. So I’ll finish with the invitation of
another of the great saints of the Sacred Heart, St Claude la Colombiere:
May the Heart of Jesus Christ be our school! Let us make our abode there . . .

Let us study its movements and attempt to conform ours to them.
My friends, lets enter Jesus’ heart together.

It’s not just me recording it, or just you listening to a recording.

I rely on your prayers, and as I write and talk I am praying for each of you. And
in any case, there is no such thing as a Christian doing something by themselves:
like the Trinity, where one is, the others are. So let’s enter together, for Jesus is
standing in front of us now, with his heart wide open, to enter and experience
his love, his healing, his teaching, authentic freedom - and eternal life with him.