God has something better in mind: A homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

11781602_10106038224197169_8996450768846308306_nA busy week last week and this coming week! Our kids will be going back to school on Wednesday, so we’ll pray for them. Now last week I had the joy of being with a whole bunch of young folks at CYO camp. I was speaking with several of the 5th graders and we were trading stories. When I was in fifth grade, I didn’t think life could get any better. I remember sitting in the back of the room with my good friend and the shenanigans we would do during the course of the day. Like filling our mouths with water every drink break, not swallowing it, and seeing which of us could keep a mouthful of water the longest once we returned to class. Life was great in the fifth grade and I didn’t think things could get better. Then middle school came. There were girls there. Things kept getting better.

It’s the nature of our God.  In all the readings, we see God providing his people with something good and then giving them something better. Look at the folks in the first reading. We find them complaining and wanting to go back to Egypt. They were enslaved there, but life was alright. It was what they knew. It was comfortable enough. Their needs were met. But God had something better in mind: a land of promise, a land of freedom, their homeland.

The second reading is the same. St Paul is talking to the folks in Ephesus in wonder about how things are different now that they’d met Christ. Before–things were okay. Life was alright. There was plenty of good times had. Their former ways were, well, not terrible. Things were fine.  But God had something better in mind. He brought them Christ, who changed it all, who transformed their lives and gave them light and meaning and joy and so, so much blessing.

Then the Gospel.  The disciples are happy enough with the bread of the earth. Their stomachs were filled, and they felt blessed for it. Things were pretty good. But God had something better in mind. He had the bread of heaven in mind, a bread that satisfies not just stomachs but souls.  God had something better in mind.

I can’t help but think of our dear Maria Dorsey, who passed away yesterday. She’s been the head usher here for 200 years. We will miss her greatly. She was a dear friend and a great supporter. She greeted everyone, especially strangers. I consider her the greatest force of hospitality I’ve ever met aside from the Lord. Her life was this parish.  She loved her life, she loved this parish. God gave her a wonderful life. But he had something better in mind. And now, pray God, she rests in the Land of Glory!  I bet she is sitting behind the counter in the narthex of heaven, waiting to greet us. God gave her a good life, but had something better in mind, a land that knows no pain, no tears, no distress, no fear. Only love. That is something better indeed

God always has something better in mind. He always has something supernaturally awesome in mind. For all of us. Thank God for that