Homily Notes for Our Lady of Mount Carmel - 2015

By Bishop Martin Amos

Carmelite Monastery

When I'm working on a homily it is always a good feeling when I finally have a hook onto which I can hang my thoughts and words

  • So, I usually start with reading the Scriptures that will be proclaimed to see what is there
  • I'm sure that like you depending on what is happening in life, the same passage can have many different "hooks" at different times

One of the things that has happened is the Holy Father issuing his encyclical Laudato Si' on the care of our common home.

  • The day it was issued we had calls from one of the TV stations that wanted to know if I would appear on camera with a statement
  • I said I just got it and haven't even had a chance to read it.
  • After reading the Encyclical and reading some of the negative headlines, I realized that you don't have to read it to make statements about it...it seemed obvious that some had not read it.
  • Then last week I joined Bishop Pates and a number of others in Ankeny Iowa for a news conference at wind turbine at the Des Moines Area Community College
    • It was a wonderful experience
      • Fr. Bud Grant talked for a few minutes from a professor and ecology perspective
      • A farmer spoke
      • A manufacturer of windmills
      • Iowa Power and Light advocacy group spoke
      • Bishop Pates
      • And I prayed--actually I used two of the three prayers that are in the encyclical
    • The one of St. Francis of Assisi
    • And the one of Pope Francis for the earth

That is a long introduction to today's liturgy and my reflections on today's feast and our scripture readings.

In the three verses from I Kings we have six references to the earth:

  • Mountain, earth, sky, clouds, wind, rain

In Galatians

  • God sends his Son, born of a woman into this world so we could be adopted children

And, In John, the disciples took Mary into his care

We too were born onto this earth -- the mountains, sky, wind, rain

We too were born of a woman and have become adopted children.

We too have taken Mary, not so much into our care, but into her care

Mary, who always pondered these things in her heart, reminded me of your call to contemplation and Elizabeth Barret Browning's words:

"Earth's crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit tound and pluck blackberries."

May we continue to join with Mary in contemplating the gifts of God's creation that surround us, the precious gift of her Son within us and this Community under her patronage.


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