HOMILY by Fr. James Diluzio C.S.P.
Readings: ACTS 9: 26-31; PSALM 22; 1 LETTER OF JOHN 3: 18-24 AND The Gospel of John 15: 1-8 The metaphor of Jesus as the Vine with We as the Branches
I have been meditating on the image of the VINE and the BRANCHEs and how extensive they are through time and space and beyond. Extensive because of Christ and God’s plan for all creation.
In focusing on the COSMIC CHRIST, I invite us to journey with some facts of science filtered through the eyes of FAITH. We do not talk enough about the convergence of their respective truths. May our reflection open our eyes to the deep reality that all is COMMUNION, a celebration of relationship that is God’s plan for us all.
The Bible says God created Adams (Hebrew for HUMANS) after a long process of essential elements coming together and becoming the material world. Science says In the Beginning, there were ATOMS, and, after a long process of essential elements coming together, this COMMUNION contributed to LIFE and humanity’s existence. Science starts and ends with humanity. FAITH begins and ends with CHRIST.
Science says all this started with a BIG BANG! Scripture says, all began with God’s word: LIGHT! But God did not create light for its own sake, but to anticipate and to bring forth Jesus in materials’ time and space; LIGHT to propel humanity into deeper communion with God, with others and with the elements from which we came.
Science tells us the FIRST ELEMENTS from the Big Bang were hydrogen and helium . As the cloud of cosmic dust and gases from the Big Bang cooled, stars formed, and these then grouped together to form galaxies. AND RIGHT THEN AND THERE, creation was formed in the Christological Pattern of Dying and RYSING. It is in everything because all is all in Christ. Stars explode. Stars die. DYING STARS contributed to life. When a star’s core runs out of hydrogen, the star begins to die out, but the dying star expands into a red giant, manufacturing carbon atoms by fusing helium atoms.
- Carbon – A component of ALL CREATION the carbon of dying stars is still in us because they were made for CHRIST and through CHRIST remain in us.
Next, came OXYGEN as more massive stars began a further series of nuclear burning or reaction stages. Oxygen — necessary for LIFE be it in water or on land. Oxygen came to exist for Jesus to come into existence and, through human evolution, to bring us closer to GOD.
And, as oxygen communed with hydrogen, water emerged colliding with the cold of space, becoming ice to melt on forming planets– particularly our own. NOTHING ON EARTH CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT WATER. NOTHING! Why did this water come to be?
As it was CREATED FOR LIFE, it was CREATED FOR CHRIST, to bring about new forms of creatures first in water, and ultimately on dry land that prepared for humans to evolve so that humans would evolve to bring forth THE CHRIST who baptizes us with water and the essence of the FIRE of the HOLY SPIRIT. FIRE was also an essential element in Creation. We need to remember that.
I could offer more details, but I think you get the picture now. CHRIST IS COSMIC and the COSMOS is part of us because we are One in CHRIST.
Rooted in our Relationship with Christ, we are compelled to extend that relationship with Christ by reverencing Christ in all our fellow human beings, all wildlife, and the earth itself, participating fully in GOD’S GRAND COMMUNION DESIGN. In this design, NOTHING IS WASTED. NO ONE IS WASTED, EVERYONE BELONGS. Remember that when we are tempted to become defensive in hearing the suffering of people of color, people of different cultures, countries, and orientations. Remember: the old is contained in the NEW in everyone, and what is NEW will become old only to be part of an ongoing transformation THAT GOD destined US to participate in –the FULFILLMENT of Christ as HIS BODY in history transforming the world in HIS IMAGE. AGAIN: NOTHING IS WASTED. NO ONE IS WASTED, EVERYONE BELONGS.
Science tells us our UNIVERSE is expanding. WE MUST NOT FALL BEHIND! Allow Christ today to expand our minds, evolve us, transform us, to the NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH that is our destiny but that is accomplished in fostering COMMUNION with ALL –EVERY PERSON, EVERY CREATURE until all are one in Christ. THIS COSMIC VISION MUST put our LIVES in perspective: Always a MOVEMENT FORWARD, never a “dead end,” no matter how much like a “dead end” we may feel. Our challenges, our difficulties, our conflicts, even the sickness and the death of our loved ones–or in our own sickness and anticipation of our own deaths—must be confirmed in SEEING THE WORLD AS GOD SAW IT FROM THE BEGINNING AND AS GOD INTENDS IT TO BE: an ongoing consecration into Christ Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
No matter how we may be participating in COMMUNION today, physically, virtually, we pray our sensibilities of “TAKE AND EAT will erupt a new consciousness in each of us, offering us COURAGE to advance the KINGDOM Jesus inaugurated. Yes, one day we shall day, but with Christ’s blessed assurance, future generations will see us in themselves, and we will remain part of what is to come because we have communed with the COSMIC CHRIST leading us on to COMMUNION with God and all the saints not for just a moment, not just for today, but tomorrow, and tomorrow, and the next day. In fact, forever and ever and ever. A World without End.