God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

The Messenger Of Peace Moves Among Us

I am sure the average reader, like myself, as a child thought of Easter as a one day event in the spring: sometimes early, sometimes late, sometimes even on my birthday!  But as we now know – Easter is a Season in our Liturgical Year of the Church.  Seven weeks to celebrate the Rising of our Lord on that first Easter Morning.  This upcoming weekend we celebrate the 5th Sunday of the 2019 Easter Season.   This message is taken directly from the notes of Father McKenna’s Homily for Easter Sunday at St. Barnabas in 1971.

Fr. McKenna preparing for a Sermon at Midway Airport.
Photo by Michelle Litvin, Chicago Tribune July 2, 1995 “God is his co-pilot”

Several times in the past years I have offered Mass at the Tomb of Our Lord in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.  The open and empty tomb brought home graphically, the marvelous happening that took place on the first Easter Sunday morning.  An air of festivity and rejoicing cloaks the air of this Easter Time.  Christ is victorious!  He will conquer death and the sin in our own personal lives.  We cannot lose if we hold on tightly to the Risen Christ.

The message of the Lord comes to us: “COME ALIVE!”  Why continue with a lackadaisical version of living when the Risen Lord offers a vivid, electrifying version of life?  Yes, this was planned for all of us, not just the favored few.  If Christ, the Victor, is saying anything to us this Easter, He is saying “Throw off those old ways of thinking and living.  Come Alive!  Put more thrust into your life!”  You may be saying to yourself, what is this electrifying way of living that you are talking about?

Do you keep morose, harsh thoughts about some people in your hearts?  Do we think that in doing this we are healing our opened wounds of hate?  Certainly not!  We are condemning ourselves to a sub-standard style of life.  We are only living half a life, a good part of us is dead.  We are in a self-made prison and we don’t even know it.

Jesus is a Liberator.  He went about after the Resurrection freeing men and women from the prison of their fears and anxieties.  Even today, He comes to us to liberate us from the snares of sin.  He says to each of us, “Peace, Believe in Me!”  Why are we fettered with worry which cuts us off from the true meaning of the joy of living?  Why are we, followers of Christ, so sad because we are taken up with the happenings of this life as if we were to live here forever?  The Risen Lord, the Messenger of Peace, of new hope, again moves among us, lifting up weak spirits and encouraging embittered hearts.

All about us we see Nature in the process of coming alive, a freshness and newness of life.  What seemed like dead bushes, trees and grasses now begin to take on a new appearance, a new life of fresh greenery.  Shrubs are bursting, evolving buds give a promise of beauty, tulips and lilies come to life and tell us what we might really look like if we really wished it!

Have you been worrying about the same matters for the last few months?  Every day we give a great amount of time to negative thoughts.  Nothing is accomplished except to push your spirits lower into darkness.  The Risen Lord promises new life to each of us, not just in the world to come, but in the here and now!  We might use the three-way light bulb as an example.  We turn the switch once and a low light comes on.  We turn again and a moderate amount of light appears, but we turn that switch a third time, and a bright light outshines the first two!

What do I wish for you during this Easter Season?  I wish for you to see the promise of hope that the Resurrection holds out to each one of us.  To see the beauty of life, to reach out to others and allow the Spirit to come alive in our midst.  I wish that when you see darkness around you, you turn the switch three times, and let the Light of the Lord shine brightly!

Fr. George P. McKenna

 

May 14, 2019 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Three Cheers For God

My Grandniece’s husband went on a hike with his brothers and father to Isle Royale National Park. They had an opportunity to spend time together awed by God’s Beauty

Over the past 74 years, I have given thousands upon thousands homilies, for better or for worse, on the subject of God. Someone might say, “You have exhausted the material on God!” Though my life is in its twilight, our God is a living God, and as such, material on Him would be inexhaustible. Back in the 1960s, writers were saying, “God is dead”. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit still lives! Three cheers for God! We need to be elated about our God and jealous about the honor due to the Supreme Deity.

Some thoughts keep coming back to my mind again and again. How can we overlook the amazing attractiveness of the Three Persons? Some misguided people say religion is dull, lifeless. God the Father, the Creator of the world, has brought a breathtaking beauty to all created things. While I was at Midway Airport, each weekend a man and his wife would bring a new bouquet of flowers for Mary’s Shrine at the Chapel. Their gift of flowers was so enchanting and beautiful, that at times it was hard to keep your eyes off of them.

All creation, with its indescribable charm, gives us a faint reflection of the Glory of God’s Being. In love for us, the Father, at the moment of our conception in our mothers’ wombs, breathed a bit of His Own Divinity into our beings. Yes, He made us in His Own Image!

In revealing the mystery of the Father to us in the New Testament, Jesus mentioned two ideas which never leave my mind. Jesus said, “The Father and I are One.” In other words, the Father has all the qualities we see in Jesus: His kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gentleness. I thrilled at these words of the Son for all the years of my Priesthood. The second insight concerning His Father came from Jesus’ lips: “When a sparrow falls to the ground, My Father knows of it.” So then, my Heavenly Father has me, His human sparrow, always in mind!

God, the Son, lives as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Central Person of the New Testament. In His Coming, He brought light to the world. To live without Him is to walk in darkness. I will not dead-end my prayers in Jesus, but rather, include the Father and the Spirit in them.

I picture the Holy Spirit as a young person, intensely interested in my well-being, in my striving for holiness. What sensational powers the Spirit has to help me in my struggles against demons. Prayer makes it possible for us to communicate with the Holy Trinity. In recent years I have discovered intense joy in living by being more conscious of the Presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in my life. I pray to all Three Persons each day.

Fr. George McKenna

September 9, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 3 Comments