Synopsis of Fr. Sermon-2nd Sunday of Epiphany-John 1:43-51
This last image evokes the story of Jacob's ladder in Genesis 28. One night, Jacob dreams that "there was a ladder set up on earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it". (Gen. 28:12) The ladder connects heaven and earth and is used by God's messengers. It is the means by which God and his purposes are made known. This is why, when Jacob awakes, he declares, "surely the Lord is in the place-and I did not know it! "This is none other that the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven". (Gen 28:16-17)
When Jesus invokes this image, he puts himself in the place of the ladder; God's messengers are ascending and descending upon Him. Thus, as the incarnate son of God and the suffering son of man, Jesus is the link between heaven and earth-Jesus is the means by which God himself and his purposes are known-Jesus is humanity's doorway to heaven.
Jesus is the Son of God in this political, human sense, but He is also the Son of God in a divine sense. We know this from the prologue to the gospel, but the characters in the story do not discover this until much later on in the narrative.
Nathanael is correct in regarding Jesus' identity: he simply does not understand the full significance of his words. The full reality of who Jesus is as the divine Son of God will be revealed later on andhis disciples will "see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Question for us today-Do we like Nathanael respond by declaring Jesus to be the King of Israel-pedging our full allegiance to Jesus-Son of God. "See greater things than these minor miracles?" God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man: Jesus active in our own lives? To give thanks for His presence?
Christmas Eve Sermon-Nothing Changes Except Everything-Fr. Pat's Last Sermon
Synopsis of Readings for-Dec. 17, 2017
Old Testament-Isaiah 6:1-4, 8-11
Isaiah's lofty view of God in 6:1-4, gives us a sense of God's greatness, mystery and power. Isaiah's example of recognizing his sinfulness before God encourages us to confess our sin. His picture of forgiveness reminds us that we, too, are forgiven.
New Testament-1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Our joyful prayers and thankfulness should not flucturate with our circumstances or feelings. Obeying these three commands: Be joyful, pray continually and give thanks--often goes against our natural inclinations. When we make a conscious decision to do what God says, however, we will begin to see people in a new perspective, when we do God's will. We will find it easier to be joyful and thankful.
Gospel-John 1:6-8, 19-28
We, like John the Baptist, are not the source of God's light; we merely reflect the light. Jesus Christ is the true light; he helps us see our way to God and shows us how to walk along that way.