This is my homily, Sun. April 21, 2013. I am a Catholic chaplain at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU, Teaneck), FDU Newman Catholic Association, New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City. At FDU, Sunday Evening Mass 5:00 pm/7:00 pm celebrated during Fall and Spring semester at FDU University Interfaith Chapel, 842 River Road, Teaneck, NJ.
April 21, 2013 (Acts 13:14, 43-52 | Psalm 100 Revelation 7:9, 14b-17 | John 10:27-30)
[__01] Let’s say that you or I were to encounter a professor [teacher] several years from now […or a teacher from years several ago…].
We associate – recall – teachers / professors – by the subjects / curricula – which they taught. However , we might not remember the exact content of:
· Spanish - Irregular verbs
· Poetry - Emily Dickinson
· Chemistry - Hydrogen - molecule
Nevertheless, at a reunion – reconnection –or return to our alma mater [a former school], we will recall their identity.
Voices equal memories. If certain old-friends or well-known family members were to call us or leave us a voice mail, we would know them instantly by their voices. No video conference necessary.
The voice equals both an identity and a relationship.
[__02] Jesus also projects his voice as a teacher, a shepherd. Hear my voice.
Jesus projects his voice with lessons for us –
What I’d like to touch on are values and virtues in the Gospel (i.e., the teacher’s voice).
What does a teacher’s voice communicate? Invite us toward?
[__03] Jesus has projected his voice, directed his voice to us so that we might recall his voice in terms of …
· SIMPLICITY – We remember the voice and behavior of teachers who can simplify difficult topics, make things comprehensible.
If we were faced with a crisis, a difficulty, we turn to Jesus to simplify it for us, to help us – through our prayer – what we can do today, at this moment.
Simplicity is a virtue helping us to be aware of God’s work, God’s actions.
As we read in the Acts of the Apostles, about Jesus, our Savior, “In him, we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
SIMPLICITY is a virtue.
Now, certainly, we turn to Jesus with complex problems, complex financial problems, complex family differences,
But, we take action based on a plan with that we can comprehend, that he calls us to follow.
[__04] Jesus has projected his voice, directed his voice to us so that we might recall his voice in terms of …
ETERNITY – And, don’t we remember - and esteem – teachers and professors who could help us retain information and methods for the long term, forever… These teachers help us put the lessons of the classroom into practice.
Jesus, teacher and savior, is interested in our salvation and happiness, long term, eternally.
Jesus reminds us of eternity, of love, of things that do not pass away,
“do not worry about your life and what you are to eat and about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing…” (Luke 12:22-23)
“do not seek what you are to eat, what you are to drink…” (Luke 12:29)
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33). Eternity.
[__05] Jesus has projected his voice, directed his voice to us so that we might recall his voice in terms of …
TRUTHFULNESS – we value and esteem the teacher who will not simply tell us the answers but also help us to “own” and to possess the answer.
Or, we might say – that in an academic setting – the role of the educator is to give us the rules for research, for gathering information. Then, we will “own” answer, put our name on the title page, and hand in the report. This is truth … in an academic sense.
And, we esteem – we value – the teacher who will help us find the truth if we are going astray.
Sometimes, even years later, we give thanks for the teachers who helped us to apply ourselves to difficult subjects … as Jesus does for his disciples – for the method of Simplicity , and the goal of Eternity.
Hear my voice. [_fin_]