Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - "Get on with it!"
Advice that many of us give to others, or receive, when the job in hand appears to be getting less attention than it should. Today, we read of Christ's last appearance with His Apostles before completing His public ministry. They have been commissioned to "Go and Teach", but they are still standing around like stunned mullets when the angels appear and give them the "Get on with it"! message.

Acts 1: 1-11 - The Apostles had not yet fully grasped the purpose of Christ's ministry, namely, to prepare people for eternal salvation by lives of practical dedication. Their question about the reestablishment of the kingdom of Israel indicates their confused state of mind.. Christ again explains that they are to be his witnesses to the whole world, as would be succeeding generations. The angels' reminder to get moving is as relevant for us as it was for them.

Ephesians 1:17-23 - One of the more beautiful descriptions given by St. Paul of the power of Christ to transform the human person. In everyone there is a seed of spirituality that, like all seeds, needs to be nurtured in order to grow. For Paul, no alternative teacher equals the power of Christ to bring that growth to fruition.

Luke 24: 46-53 - Here we have St. Luke's shorter version of the final meeting of Christ with His Apostles. His final words of commissioning and encouragement to get on with the ministry to which He has appointed them also needs to be heard by us.

Point 1: - To be in the world, but not dominated by the world is a constant dilemma for anyone seeking to live his or her life by religious standards. A constant criticism of religion is that it requires people to live on "cloud nine", out of touch with reality; to develop a "pie in the sky" mentality! Marx described it as "the opiate of the people"! Either criticism does not bear analysis. Looked at in the context of history, no teaching has had such dynamic impact on the affairs of people than has Christianity. Its insistence on the dignity and rights of the human person has seen a growing consciousness in society of the needs that the individual has in matters of education, of justice ensuring opportunity for employment,, of fair and adequate compensation for work performed or injury suffered, of solicitous care for the sick, the aged and the needy.

Point 2: I believe it is worth noting that, whilst other voices are heard today making these same demands, the original voices were predominantly Christian voices. And, when travelling abroad, I find it interesting that in countries where life styles are governed by other philosophies, the needs and rights of the individual receive far less emphasis than in those countries that have grown out of a Christian culture.

Conclusion: This is not to argue that there have not been gaps between the ideal and practice. Everything in the garden has not been lovely; but the fault has been of the practitioner, not the Teacher, Christ. I remember once receiving a greeting card on the anniversary of my Ordination which reminded me "I have no hands but your hands". Through baptism, each of us has become "another Christ". If the Christian image in to-day's society is tarnished, it is because people claiming Christian discipleship have tarnished it. Like the Apostles, standing idly looking to the heavens, we all need to be reminded of our responsibility in accepting the title "Christian" and to "get on with the job"! In one measure or another, each of us has become "the hands of Christ"

Scriptural reference: You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [Mat :14-16]