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Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P.
You are beautiful
Children's Homily

     I want your imagination to be a search engine for a moment and look for something very beautiful.  So close your eyes.  Think for a few moment of something very beautiful.  Something you might want to take a picture of.

     Did you think of a colorful rainbow, or a brilliant sunset?

     Maybe you thought of a bright red rose, or a colorful tree full of orange blossoms?

     Maybe you thought of the mountains, so majestic, reaching up into the sky.  Or maybe you thought of the ocean. It is so vast and powerful.

     Maybe you thought of the stars at night.  What a marvelous sight.  I think the human eye can see about ten thousand stars without a telescope.  I never counted.  But I love to look.

     Maybe you thought of a diamond or a pearl.  Ah, yes, precious jewels that sparkle and shine can be very beautiful.

     Maybe you thought of the grand canyon, breath-taking, or the giant redwoods.  Spectacular.

     You know what I thought about?  I thought about all of you.
I'll tell you why?

     As colorful and as lovely as flowers and trees are, they have no minds.  They cannot think or reason or learn.  They are just plants.  You have a mind that can do all sorts of marvelous things and can keep learning and learning all our life long. 

     As beautiful and majestic as the mountains are, they have no will. They can't decide and choose. They are just rock and clay.  But you can decide and choose.  Our wills are something unique to human persons.

     The ocean is vast and powerful.  But it has not imagination.  It can't hope and dream, plan and build.  It's just a body of water.  You have the power to visualize a better world, to plan and create and build.

     Although is sometimes looks like the stars are twinkling, they don't.  As nice as they are to look at, they have no emotions.   They can't sing and dance, laugh and play.  They are just objects in space.  You can hop, skip, and dance, play sports or play musical instruments, tell jokes, draw art.  Amazing.

     As precious and radiant as diamonds and pearls are, they have no heart.  They are just stones. They cannot love care, help and share.  You can, and you do. 

     The Grand Canyon, the giant redwoods, rainbows and sunsets.  All dazzling and beautiful parts of creation.   But they can't touch and feel, smell and taste. They can't talk and listen, think, dream, choose, dance, sing, laugh and cry.    They can't believe, they can't pray.  They can't say "thank you" or say "I'm sorry."  They can't love.

     That is why I imagine God, during those first days of creation, having a good time designing all the dazzling and awe inspiring parts of creation. Then on the last day, God created the human person.  I picture God saying to himself, "YES!  In my image and likeness."

     Precious in God's eyes are his people.  We are called the apple of his eye.

     God so loved the world that he sent his only son.  And because Jesus died and rose for us, we have become children of God, and temples of the Holy Spirit.  Give thanks for who you are, for your life and what God made you, for all the gifts of faith, and for what you are destined for, -- eternal life with God

     And then look with keen eyes and see the wonder and magnificence of each human person around you.  Treat them with loving care.  When we honor and reverence people, we honor and reverence the Creator of people,  our God of love. 
    
     You have worked hard this past year.  Summer vacation is coming.  Now is the time to celebrate life and rejoice in God's love for us. God is hugging you.  You are precious in his sight.