Back in May, God told me to go back to church. I haven’t been to church for nearly 25 years and really did not want to go. But I felt like I really needed to hear Jesus’ words at this point in my life. So I was really looking forward to hearing the homily that I hoped would address the gospel. Boy I was wrong.
The first sunday that I went, 5/21, the gospel was John 14:15-21:
"If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.
I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you. In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see that I live and you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.
Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him."
I was excited about this gospel because I needed to hear this at this point in my life when I felt most abandoned. I waited patiently for the homily expecting the deacon (not a priest, which is another issue I have for another post) to address the gospel and how it applies to life.
Well, the deacon said “I’m not going to talk about the gospel.” And proceeded to talk about something that had nothing to do with the readings. I zoned out at that point and asked God why did you send me to church where they don’t even talk about Jesus’ words?
The next Sunday I figured the previous week was an aberration and that maybe the actual priest this time would talk about the gospel in the homily (as I remembered they did back 25 years ago). This sunday 5/28 was the ascension of Jesus (John 17:1-11):
"After saying this, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you; so that, just as you have given him power over all humanity, he may give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him. And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me with that glory I had with you before ever the world existed. I have revealed your name to those whom you took from the world to give me. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
Now at last they have recognised that all you have given me comes from you for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have indeed accepted it and know for certain that I came from you, and have believed that it was you who sent me.
It is for them that I pray. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified.
I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us."
The ascension of Jesus! Surely, the homily would talk about such an important event. Nope. Again, the same deacon (not a priest), said “I’m not going to talk about the gospel because it’s too circular and difficult. I’m going to talk about my facebook page and my daughters instead.”
Oh, my Lord! Too circular! Too difficult! That gospel could not have been any clearer. Even, I, as a woman and not a priest or deacon who can become a pseudo-married priest, could easily have prepared a homily addressing the words of Jesus to his Father as he ascends into heaven. Where is the circularity? Where is the difficulty? Was it just me? Probably.
I never returned to that church. I haven’t been back to church since even though God put it on my heart to go to church. I need to hear the words of Jesus, not the words of deacon and his daughter’s facebook page. When did Jesus’ words disappear from homilies?
I guess I’m just sorely disappointed and don’t know why God would lead me back to such a church that finds Jesus too difficult and circular. I’ve been praying by myself and maybe someday I will go to another church but I don’t know…