Reason Of Hope – Fr. Tom Tank

Fr. Tom Tank’s Homily May 16, 2020

“I said it’s great for us to be able to be back together.  During the time of the sheltering I saw a cartoon.  It was Jesus and the devil were sitting at a table having a conversation with each other.  The devil says, ‘Well Jesus I closed down all your churches.’  And Jesus says, ‘Yes, but I opened one in every home.’  That’s an important message I think that Jesus truly wants our homes to be places of prayer as well and I know these several last weeks when we haven’t been able to gather as a community have been difficult, but hopefully it has also been that opportunity to recognize that sacredness of the domestic church that domestic home where Christ abides as well.  Certainly not in the same way as here in the Eucharist and it’s so important for us to come together in the flesh and blood to celebrate the Eucharist, but I know in many families that they’ve put a little altar area or little place for prayer for them and I hope those will continue way beyond the time of when this pandemic is over with that there’s this sense that our homes are a place of the sacred where we experience that presence and love of God for Jesus promises in the Gospel that he’s always going to be with us, he always is going to be with us and he sends us the Holy Spirit that spirit that we received in baptism.  Easter is the great celebration of baptism where we die and rise with Christ and we receive that gift of the Holy Spirit to become children of God, disciples of Jesus and then in the first reading today we have that sacrament of confirmation as Philip goes and preaches, but then two of the apostles come and lay hands on those Samaritans who receive the Holy Spirit.  It’s the message of those two sides of the one the baptism that we experience the confirmation, baptism by which we are children of God, confirmation by which we are witnesses to God and that is what Peter brings together.  He says, ‘First of all sanctify Jesus in your heart.  Welcome Jesus into your heart.’  That’s the first thing and then he said, ‘Be able to give a reason for the hope that is yours.’  That’s the witness.  We are a people of hope.  That’s a very important quality.  It’s interesting Peter didn’t say there, ‘Give a reason for your faith.’  Because we usually approach the rational.  No, he says, ‘Give a reason for your hope.’  Because each and every one of us is a person of hope who recognize that we have a hope, a confident expectation of God’s presence and his love for us yes in this live, but even more fully in eternal life that not even death itself can quench our hope and so we are called to give a reason for our hope in Christ Jesus and it’s because he not only died, but he rose for the salvation of each of us.  Let us sanctify Christ within our hearts and let us give that reason of hope in the way that we live each day.”