Homilies by Fr. Alan Phillip

6th Week of Easter, Thursday (A) The Meaning of "Hello"
Recent Homilies:
ߦ   6th Week of Easter, Thursday (A) The Meaning of "Hello"
ߦ   6th Sunday of Easter (A) Transformed Into What?
ߦ   4th Week of Easter, Tuesday (A) Peace? For Me?
ߦ   Friday, 4th Easter (A) What is "Life to the Full"?
ߦ   Monday, 4th Easter (A) One Flock. One Shepherd
ߦ   Friday, 3rd. Easter (A) Do What?
ߦ   Easter Season (A) This Little Light Of Mine...
ߦ   Easter Season (A) What Happened Next?
ߦ   Easter Friday (A) Why were the Apostles fearful?
ߦ   Easter Tuesday (A) What If...?
ߦ   Good Friday (A) Why Is this day called "Good?"
ߦ   Palm Sunday (A) What's Next?
ߦ   5th Sunday of Lent (A) Three Steps To Life
ߦ   Feast of the Annunciation, All About Game Changers
ߦ   4th Sunday of Lent (A) Oh, Say, Can You See?
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Lent (A) What Are You Thirsting For?
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Lent (A) Letting Go and Letting God
ߦ   1st Sunday of Lent (A) How do the children of God respond?
ߦ   Ash Wednesday, 2020 (A) A New Look at Fasting and Almsgiving
ߦ   7th Sunday (A) I Want To Be On That List
ߦ   6th Sunday (A) God's Valentine
ߦ   Fifth Sunday (A) You Light Up My Life
ߦ   Feast of the Presentation. "Father, into your hands..."
ߦ   3rd Sunday (A) We Are Wonderfully Made
ߦ   2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) The Power of Both Suffering and Fun
ߦ   Baptism of the Lord (A) Bold, Committed and Loving
ߦ   Feast of the Epiphany (A) Three New Year's Resolutions
ߦ   Feast of the Holy Family (A) Three Building Blocks to a Great Family Life
ߦ   Christmas 2019 (A) God's Gifts of Bronze, Silver and Gold
ߦ   4th Sunday of Advent (A) The Power of "Yes"
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Advent (A) The Blind See. The Deaf Hear.
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Advent (A) Five Steps to Peace
ߦ   1st Sunday of Advent (A) The Time is Now
ߦ   Feast of Christ the King (C) What an Inheritance!
ߦ   33rd Sunday (C) You have 24 Hours to Get Ready
ߦ   32nd Sunday (C) Lord, Stiffen Our Backbones
ߦ   31st Sunday (C) A Non-Miracle Miracle
ߦ   30th Sunday (C) Look Up At The Stars
ߦ   29th Sunday (C) Are Your Prayers Not Being Answered?
ߦ   28th Sunday (C) A Gratitude Attitude
ߦ   27th Sunday (C) Head, Heart And Will
ߦ   26tth Sunday (C) Reveal What To Them?
ߦ   25th Sunday (C) Getting Our $$$ Act Tegether
ߦ   24th Sunday (C) A Hug From God
ߦ   23rd Sunday (C) 100% Commitment
ߦ   20th Sunday (C) Discover Fire -- A SecondTime
ߦ   16th Sunday (C) The Importance of Hospitality
ߦ   15 Sunday (C) When Does A Tear Dry?
ߦ   14th Sunday (C) Take Along The Right Stuff
ߦ   13th Sunday (C) I Ain't Turning Back

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     Whenever we are at an airport or train station, we can observe many sacred moments.  The first sacred moment is when people arrive and are welcomed home.  A husband returning from a business trip, a student coming back after a year at college, friends coming for a visit.  There are hugs, similes, laughter, joy.  It is an “Hello” moment.  


     And the there are the “Goodbye” moments.  A son going off to war, grandparents or grandchildren going back home after a visit.  There are hugs, but this time tears and sadness.  They will not see each other for a long time.


     Of course, the most precious “Hello” moment is welcoming a child into this world.  And the saddest “Goodbye” moment, --- burying a loved one.


    Life is made up of a lot of “Hello’s” and “Goodbye’s.”


     In today’s gospel Jesus seems to be struggling with saying “Goodbye.”  And the apostles are having a hard time understanding him, probably in denial that he is leaving.  Jesus says, “A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me.”  What is this “little while”?


     The Apostles would soon learn that “you will not see me” would be his death.  And “you will see me” would be his resurrection.  Then they will have joy.  But they didn’t know that yet.


     We are coming up on the feast of the Ascension.  Another “Goodbye” moment.  Only this time the apostles will be told that, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).  So it wouldn’t be a total, “Goodbye.”   Jesus would just not be with them physically any more.  In fact his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, would accompany them everywhere.  But today’s gospel is part of Jesus’s words at the Last Supper.

And at this point the apostles were still confused.


     As the apostles slowly began to realize that they would soon say “Goodbye” to Jesus, I wonder if they started thinking about when they first said “Hello”?  Perhaps they recalled their first encounter with Jesus on the seashore when they were fixing their nets, or Matthew recalling Jesus calling him from tax collecting. And all the “Hello’s” since then: “Hello” to new people; “Hello” to new teachings; “Hello” to miracles; “Hello” to the beginnings of ministry.  These were exciting “Hello’s”,full of promise.


     They were not prepared for the “Goodbye” of Calvary.  Jesus’ death seemed like goodbye to hopes and dreams goodbye to plans and wishes.  Goodbye to the life they had known for three years.


     Our first “Hello” to Jesus was our baptism (although most of us don’t remember that.)  There was a special “Hello” at our first Communion, our Confirmation, our profession or ordination, and marriage for many of you.  “Hello’s” that were filled with promise and expectation.


     Sadly, some said “Goodbye” to Jesus when they stopped practicing their faith.  For others it seemed like Jesus said “Goodbye,” because all they experience is dryness in prayer, and no feelings of devotion.


     Fortunately, St. Paul tells us that “Nothing can separate us from the love of God,” (Romans 8:39), so faith teaches us God never says “Goodbye,” even though we feel distant.


     Let’s go back to the “little while” between Calvary, and the resurrection. What were the apostles experiencing during that “little while”?  I suspect what they were experiencing is something like what is reflected in a song titled, “Hello, God,”  I’d like to share the lyrics with you.

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear me, are you listening any more?
Hello God, if we're still on speaking terms
Can you help me like before?
I have questioned your existence
My resistance leaves me cold
Can you help me go the distance?
Hello God, hello, hello

This old world has gone to pieces
Can we fix it, is there time?
Hate and violence just increases
We're so selfish, cruel and blind
We fight and kill each other
In your name, defending you
Do you love some more than others?
We're so lost and confused

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear us, are you listening any more?
Hello God, if we're still on speaking terms
Can you help us like before?
Oh, the free will you have given
We have made a mockery of
This is no way to be living
We're in great need of your love

Hello God, can you grant us
Love enough to make amends
(Hello God) Is there still a chance
That we could start again
Hello God, we've learned our lesson
Dear God, don't let us go
More than ever
Hello God, hello, hello
Hello God, we really need you
We can't make it without you
(Hello God) We beseech you
In the name of all that's true
Hello God, please forgive us
For we know not what we do

Hello God, give us one more chance to prove ourselves to you
Hello, God; hello, God

(Lyrics by Dolly Parton)





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