Homily by Deacon Jay Ziolkowski

“Children, be on guard against idols.”  What a strange way to end today’s first reading from the 1st Letter of St. John.  But I do believe that it has importance and meaning for all of us today and serves as a warning to us.  I am not referring to an image or statue used for worship.  I am referring to that which occupies our time both at work or at home.

The idol that I am referring to is that smart phone, the I-pad, the computer.  Today when people get up in the morning we don’t get down on our knees to thank God for giving us a new day.  We check our phone for messages or the news of the day.  One of the new programs on television is “God friended me.”   Perhaps, you have seen it.  It seems that it is the only way God can get a message to us.

When I was growing up in the 1950’s, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in church was a way to place ourselves in God’s presence and share our concerns, to tell Him of our problems and offer our thanks for answered prayers.  It may be difficult for those of us who are working to come to First Friday Adorations, but the church is open during the day and our Lord is waiting in the tabernacle to communicate with us, to offer a shoulder for us to cry on, or simply to listen.

Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, recently published a book entitled “The Power of Silence.”  It is in the silence of our hearts and minds that God comes to be with us and to direct us in the ways we need to go, and to listen to our problems.  We tend to make fun of the dinner scenes on T.V. programs of long ago.  You know, when Ozzie and Harriet and the boys communicated with each other.  This week, in the Wall Street Journal, there was an article that told of teenagers using the Grub-Hub apps on the smart phones to order meals to be delivered to their homes, because they didn’t care for the meal mom was preparing.

Throughout the Gospels we find instances when Jesus went off by himself to pray.  He needed that time to talk with His Father and vice versa.  I don’t think he was checking his text messages.

I have a simple suggestion for all of us to take under consideration.  Before we come to Mass on Sunday or Saturday evening, or whenever, come 15 minutes early.  Take these  precious minutes to decompress, to place yourself in the presence of Jesus Christ in the tabernacle and tell Him what is on your mind, or to read the Gospel that will be in the Mass that day.

In conclusion, I would like to offer your this simple morning prayer:

Lord, Jesus, today is your day and I want your will to be done.  So whatever happens, hold my hand and let’s face it together.