homily – March 22

John 3:14-21

I was reading the story was of a young woman growing up in a very dysfunctional family of twisted relationships. It didn’t help matters that the family belonged to a very strict religious sect. Talking about her life and the things that were going on in her life she made this amazing statement. “My life is an embarrassment of blessings.” Those words stuck with me ever since. My life is an embarrassment of blessings.

If we think about it, each one of us here can say these words, “my life is an embarrassment of blessings”. No matter what personal struggles we may be facing, we are a blessed people. Consider our gift of sight, our gift of speech and hearing, our gift of mobility, our gift of health, our gift of family and friends, our gift of employment or career, especially our the gift of faith.

We are all blest; we are all gifted by our God who is rich in mercy. We are blest by a God who so loved the world He sent His Son to the world not to condemn or punish but to save the world through His passion death and resurrection. We are blest by God, Who before the world began chose us in Christ to be His adopted sons and daughters.

In one of his letters St. Paul asked his readers, “What have you that you have not received and if you have received it why do you glory as if you had not received it?” What Paul writes to the Ephesians is true for all of us; “By grace, you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing, it is a gift from God.” We do not earn gifts, they are freely given. Our lives are an embarrassment of blessings. “For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

The gifts with which we are all blessed were given for good works and these good works are the necessary consequence and outcome our new life in Christ. These good works are the fruit of a faith that is professed with our lips and lived in our lives. We pray at every Mass, “may we live this Mass outside these walls in the lives we live, the work we do and the service we give” Faith without good works is dead.

One of the good works that will challenge us is this year’s Share Life Appeal. If you are on our mailing list you have already received a letter from Archbishop Collins inviting you to be part of this year’s Appeal. The theme of this year’s appeal “you can work wonders” fits so well into today’s second reading which reminds us we, gifted people that we are, are created for good works.

Share Life supports 33 agencies and grants 10 others, assisting over ¼ of a million people in the Archdiocese. At the end of the Mass Maggie O’Rourke a staff member of Rosalie Hall will tell you of the work she is able to do because of your support for Share Life. With your help she can work wonders.

Our lives are an embarrassment of blessings. A great blessing that is ours is the life we share with the Risen Christ, a life Christ shares with us through His passion, death and resurrection. As we continue to celebrate this Mass we can pray for ourselves and for each other that we come to appreciate how blessed we are and in supporting Share Life may we all work wonders.