Homily for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) (Father’s Day)
June 20-21, 2020
Sacred Heart, EGF – Saturday 5:00 PM
Holy Trinity, Tabor – 8:00 AM
St. Francis, Fisher – 10:00 AM
Focus: God speaks in the silence.
Function: Spend time listening in silence.
A Father who is a calming force has a powerful impact on his children.
In chaos, He is calm so they are calm. “Dad can handle this. He’ll take care of me in this, he’ll be there for me, so I’ll be OK.”
He might get angry, but he doesn’t seem to worry. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he is worry free. It just means his inner peace, his inner calm, isn’t easily shaken.
What could be the source of such inner strength?
His faith in God. He knows where his true identity is found. He knows what determines his true value. It is not determined by whether he succeeds or fails at this or that task. It is found in “who he is”, not “what he does.”
Who is he?
He is not God.
He is not in control of every situation.
No, he is a son. He is a son of his Heavenly Father.
He doesn’t need to be in complete control because God is in control.
He works hard, does his best, realizes some things are out of his control, and leaves those things to God.
When things go wrong, he doesn’t say, “I failed”.
When things seem to be spinning out of control, he knows that the one thing that he can control is how he reacts.
His identity is found, not in “what he does” but in “who he is”.
Who is he?
He is a son.
He is also a father – a father of his own children.
They have faith in him, and their faith give him strength.
They need him to be strong and so their need provides his strength.
He doesn’t have the luxury of coming unglued.
They need a protector, a provider, a teacher, so he does his best to be these things for them. His guidance and presence is a source of strength for them. Their love gives him strength even as his love gives them strength.
Our Heavenly Father is the perfect Father. Nothing shakes him.
He is calm, never frantic.
He is silent, always listening.
He is in control.
He doesn’t worry about our temper tantrums or minor sins.
He calls us out of them. He calls us to repent.
He calls us to reach our full potential.
He corrects us and disciplines us in the depths of our conscience, if we will only listen.
He loves us.
He created us out of nothing, for a purpose, to share his love and goodness with us.
When the world seems to be falling apart…
When we, like Jeremiah the prophet, can hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side!”…Let us remember who we are.
Jesus reminds us today who we are.
What does he say about the two sparrows?
“Not one of them falls to the ground without my Father’s knowledge.”
That’s not what he says.
“Not one of them falls to the ground without YOUR Father’s knowledge.”
We have the care of the Father who created the universe. Our Heavenly Father is a calming force, and he can have a powerful impact on us, his children, if we listen.
“Fear no one…What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light. “What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops”
Darkness indicates the early morning or late evening, the time of silence and solitude when a father can be alone because the children are sleeping.
It is then that the voice of God can be heard,
that tiny whispering sound that speaks
in the depths of a heart
that makes time to pray in silence and solitude,
the voice that whispers:
“You are my son. I love you. It is enough. I will see you through this.”
We need silence today more than ever.
We need this silence because we need to hear God’s voice.
We need to be reminded who we are so that we can become who we are called to be.
We need to hear what God has to say so that we know what to say.
In the silence, we sense God’s care for us. In the silence, we hear God speak. God is in the silence.
Next week, I will be on a silent retreat. I’ve been preparing for it by reading a book called “The Power of Silence” by Cardinal Robert Sarah. Prior to becoming a cardinal, Sarah served for twenty years an Archbishop in Guinea, Africa, under a violent, authoritarian Marxist regime, where the dictator had his name on a death list.
He is a man who has seen dark times.
I found his words on silence particularly appropriate for us at this time, when many are fearful and are asking, “what is happening to our country?”:
God is fashioning hearts, and evil never has the last word. In the darkest night, God works in silence.[i]
Silence and prayer are not a form of defection. They are the strongest weapons against evil. Man wants to “do”, but above all else he must “be”. In silent prayer, man is fully human. He resembles David before Goliath.[ii]
[i] Robert Cardinal Sarah, “The Power of Silence”, #287.
[ii] Ibid., #291.