WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE TEXT OF THE HOMILY PREACHED TO THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY OF COLAISTE MUIRE, COBH TO MARK THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY 21ST NOVEMBER 2012, AT ST COLMAN'S CATHEDRAL
We are all called by God to be the best version of ourselves
Blessed Edmund Rice, who founded the Presentation Brothers became this in his own life – the best version of himself – the whole person and a holy person – complete, lacking nothing. We are called to be likewise but it does not mean we will ever be perfect! No-one is! We all need to work on being better than we are right now.
To create the kind of school and school atmosphere this year as a community – and our own class atmosphere – that Blessed Edmund Rice would be proud of, is to be giving to be generous with our time as he was.
So where do we start?
There is a big billboard ad on the right hand side of the road as you leave Cobh –just after the Bramley Lodge – advertising the 2013 BMW cars already.
Now you all know what a BMW is and this is not an ad for BMW!
I want to change those letters around and from BMW to BWM
What do the letters BWM stand for – Beginning With Me!
The second reading gives us an example of where to begin BWM
What kind of person am I at the moment?
Can I identify with the Second Reading?
Here it is again in part
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.
'Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with your seal for you to be set free when the day comes.
....Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness....'
In class, at home, even my feelings at times, do I feel the following: anger, temper, resentment, revenge, hatred, spitefulness, loud, lashing out?
There is a story of a woman who used to buy her husband’s shirts – when asked what his collar size was, she couldn’t give it in inches, but she put her hands together in a choking gesture and said: ‘oh, about this size!’
Anger is the easy way out, and there is a very short lived sense of satisfaction in shouting someone down or insulting someone, being nasty, by word, or even text.
That’s not the version of ourselves we are proud of!
If you have ever been on the receiving end of a nasty word, I bet you remember it doesn’t go away that easily! But we have to remember that we might have been on the giving end.
So it is not the Christian way, it was not the way of Blessed Edmund Rice
Instead, what version of myself can I be, does God want me to be, that I am capable of being? Well think again of BWM – I am asked by God to be GENEROUS, SYMPATHETIC AND READY TO FORGIVE.
The second reading continues with these words:
Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ..
Beginning with myself, I can be the best version of myself.
The hardest word in Christianity – to be a true Christian is a two letter word....AS
Follow Christ by loving as He has loved you – completely. Forgive us our trespasses ...AS we forgive those who trespass against us; Love your neighbour AS yourself – EQUALLY. THE Golden Rule is to treat others AS you would expect to be treated yourself.
The reading today concludes too with an ‘as’ in the middle
Try then to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ by loving as he has loved you
We mentioned BWM – beginning with myself
I want to finish with another similar one - BVM.
Today’s feast is of a woman who as a young girl presented herself to God at a young age in the Temple in Jerusalem – she wanted to be the kind of person God wanted her to be. This was Mary. She was open, and she was generous, sympathetic and ready to forgive. As a teenage girl, she was engaged to be married –because that’s the way it was in those times – girls, imagine being engaged?
Well, God had a plan for her – she was called to be the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary - BVM
And He has a plan for you – a plan that is only just beginning
Can you be generous, sympathetic, ready to forgive, can you be BWM, can you be BVM – the Best Version of Myself?
Let us ask Mary to be like her – to be open to possibilities, but also open to others. The BVM if I pray to her and ask her help even if it’s just ONE HAIL MARY every day she will help me to be like her - BVM – the Best Version of Myself, this school year.