What a perfect first reading for my inaugural weekend at Christ the King parish. I think we need to hear those lines again: “Rejoice heartily, O Daughter Zion, shout for joy oh daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek and riding on an ass, on a colt the foul of an ass.” What a prophetic passage, planted on the 14th sunday in ordinary time awaiting my arrival at Christ the king to be fulfilled. Because, you see, Jesus comes to us, but he comes riding on an ass… that’s me. I’m young, in decent shape, and I may not be the best looking but I’m a hard worker.
Fr Kirby says goodbye to the parish and town he served for his first three years. Looking to the next generation, and looking back to martyrs from the past generation, he wraps up his time in Butte, America.
There is exactly one road to perfection for each of you from the BC class of 2020. It’s narrow, rocky, and difficult, but it’s possible. That road involves simply following Christ. Jesus tells us in the gospel, “I will not leave you orphans, I will send you the advocate, the spirit of truth to be with you always.”
It’s your choice, you’re free. You can go off to college and party, go hard, follow your bliss, whatever, and it will give you a shallow sense of rebellion, you will in fact be following the crowd in every single way.
To be Christian today is the true revolution. Christ is waiting for you. Sacrifice what he asks you to sacrifice and trust he knows where he’s taking you. That’s the road to greatness, to joy, and the world needs you to follow that road. If you do, you will find when you speak, the crowds around you will listen with one accord, unclean spirits will be cast out, the crippled and paralyzed will be healed.
Death. It’s not a pleasant word. I remember when I first began to understand the idea and I would try to imagine it. There I was, 7-year-old Kirby standing there with my eyes closed, imagining what it meant to cease to exist. It was physically disorienting, so much that I would occasionally get vertigo and just fall over. Then my mom taught me about heaven, about eternal life with God, and hell in it’s eternal torment and separation from God. I was just as dizzy and confused thinking about eternity as I was contemplating an end to existence. The idea of death for those without faith involves falling out of existence. For us with faith, we know it is eternal life. Yet both ideas are beyond us, too much to comprehend, and like everything we cannot grasp and measure, it terrifies us.
It's been a while but I'm back posting my homilies! I love preaching on Holy Thursday.
A priest once gave me a penance to pray for a particular family and he told me, “Kirby, I believe I was called to the priesthood- more than that- I believe I was born in order that this family could know God loves them. They have suffered a tremendous amount, so God created me and sent me to tell them they don’t suffer alone. Jesus Christ suffers with them and loves them.”
As it turns out, when we get the exact thing we want, it doesn’t make us as happy as we think it will. When we are denied our deepest desire, it’s not as disastrous as we assume it will be. You finally get your dream truck, that beautiful F350 Platinum, and a month later when the newness wears off, it’s just a truck with a lot of chrome and a substantial monthly payment. You get your dream promotion, yet you still have all the insecurities you thought would disappear when the announcement was made. Reverse the fortunes: you wreck your new truck or lose your great job. The initial shock wears off, it’s a year later and here you are, your life didn’t implode.
What does this tell us about happiness and who we are as humans?
What a role Joseph played! To care for and protect the crowned jewel of the human race- Mary, Queen of heaven, Seat of Wisdom, New Ark of the Covenant- and to foster the Incarnate God himself. My great love for Joseph comes not only from his faithful acts, but his willingness to be faithful in obscurity. To be faithful, then gladly forgotten.
Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! Our last address to an earthly king was a collection of 27 grievances against his majesty, George III (which were promptly ignored), followed by Declaration of Independence which changed the course of history. Yet here we stand as Catholics declaring ourselves subservient to another king. Not just any king, but the King of the Universe! There is nothing democratic about this feast. We can make no grievances, declare no inalienable rights, nor can we rebel against him who admits he harvests where he has not sown and gathers where he has not scattered seed. So are we taking part in a fundamentally unamerican celebration? Should we rather name Jesus President of the Universe that we can maintain our dignity?
Can Christians reconcile the story of creation with evolutionary theory without compromising an authentic reading of scripture or Christian anthropology?
Is it necessary to see evolutionary theory with an openness to God in order if we are to explain the process reasonably?
I assert the answer to both of those questions is: Yes.
Listen in and let me know what you think!
Note: I purposely avoid the phrase Intelligent Design in my talk because of all the baggage it currently carries with it. However, David Galernter puts forth a formidable argument for it in his article Giving up Darwin. He is mostly citing Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt, which i have not had the chance to read yet.
Bibliography (not comprehensive but these were my main sources):
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind. Yuval Noah Harari
The Human Advantage: A New Understanding of How our Brains Became Remarkable.
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, MIT Press, 2016
What is so Special about the Human Brain? Ted Talk, Suzana Herculano-Houzel
Giving up Darwin, David Galernter
Jordan Peterson, Various Talks and Lectures on brain development as well as his lectures on the creation story.
Did Adam and Eve Exist? Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, this is a lecture series that Fr. Nicanor gives in various contexts,but I have listened to various lectures from him on similar topics.