5th Sunday Easter year A 2020

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God.  Have faith also in me.”  Our hearts have very much been troubled this days, the past few months, and who knows how long into the future.  But Jesus says for hearts to not be troubled.  To trust in God, and to trust in him.  For Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Thus, we unite ourselves to him.  While we are still physically separated from one another, that doesn’t mean we are not united. 

As was said in our reading from St. Peter, “let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  Jesus was the perfect priest in that he was both priest and victim.  He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice, the graces of which we continually ask for and receive throughout our lives.  The sacrifice that is made present at each and every Mass.  And as baptized Christians, you all share in the ministry of Christ, including his priesthood.  Now an ordained priest shares in Jesus’ ministry in a specific and personal way, but you also have a participation in that ministry.

As members of the royal priesthood, each of you who is baptized also offer up sacrifices.  Now, you may remember who how I would often preach about the importance of offering something at every Mass, how I would give you a minute before Mass to consider that offering.  Even though you are away, your offerings are still important.  A sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God, an offering or prayers and petitions for yourself or for some persons and needs.  It is in this way that we unite ourselves and participate in the saving action of Jesus Christ.  But more than that, we offer our entire selves before God. 

And this is an offering that is to be done daily, specifically in the morning before we get a start to our day.  And that offering includes everything that is us.  Just as Jesus offered his entire self on our behalf, we offer ourselves as well on behalf of others.  That means our joys as well as our sufferings.  Back in my seminary days, when something was bothering us or made us upset, people would  say, “Well, offer it up.”  Bring that before God.  No reason to hold back from him.  Offer those little sufferings for the sake of others, just as Jesus offered himself for the sake of the world.  Offer the little joys to God, as an act of thanksgiving.

Now, there are a number of prayers that one can say as a daily offering, but I will give you this one as an example.

“Heavenly Father, I offer you this day all that I shall think or do or say, uniting it with what was done by Jesus Christ, your only Son.  O Jesus, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day.  I join myself to all your people, in praying for the salvation of souls, the reunion of all Christians, the grace of repentance, and the intentions of the Holy Father.  I wish to make my life this day a prayer on behalf of N. Amen.”  That last part is for a person, persons, or other special intention.  It could be for the sick, the poor, the vulnerable and suffering, anything you wish to offer up.

In either case, continue to always unite yourself to Christ and each other through prayer.  Not just praying for others, but making those daily offerings, so that you may always be united with God and with one another.