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About a year ago, my father called and said, “Peter, the stripers are in the canal.” Let me tell you a little about stripers. Every spring they migrate, like birds, from the Carolinas to Nova Scotia. When they arrive at the Cape Code Canal, they stop to get a quick bite and then go on their way. They don’t hang out in the canal, so timing is crucial. So how does my father know when the stripers are in the Canal? He lives sixty miles away! He knows when the lilacs are in bloom. It is certain proof every year. How do the lilacs know when the stripers are in the canal? Do they text each other? Nature is connected.
A guy wrote a book on fly hatches—caddis hatches, mayfly hatches, stone fly hatches. He claims that a fisherman knows there is a hatch when certain bugs come off the water by observing the flowers. His point is that all of nature is connected. Humans are somehow out of the loop, which is why we have dogs. Notice that animals are never hurt or killed because of tsunamis. They are connected. My point is that humans are not connected with nature and they are also not connected to God. This may be disappointing to you so let me explain why.
Jesus told His disciples, three times that He was going to suffer, be mocked, be crucified, die, and rise on the third day. Jesus could not be clearer. Then, in fact, He goes to Jerusalem; He suffers, is crucified, and dies. On the third day, the women find the tomb empty. Not only that, there were angels in the tomb who told the women that He rose from the dead. Yes, angels. Wouldn’t you think that before the two disciples threw in the towel, before they abandoned their cause, that perhaps they would have stopped by the tomb to see if it was empty? Even if you had your doubts, wouldn’t you have walked a few blocks to check it out? Perhaps the angels would still be there and explain what happened. There is so much going on during the third day, wouldn’t you want to be around for a while to see what was happening? But no, they leave. They leave despite all of the words and the signs about Jesus. They are completely disconnected from God.
Do you ever feel down, disheartened, discouraged, not knowing why so many things are happening that are wrong? That is because we are disconnected from God. But look what happens to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus when they are reconnected with God. They have a sudden mood swing. They are full of hope, confidence and willing to return to the plan that God started with Christ. They have complete joy. Would you not want to have a little of that in your life every day? So, how do you get connected with God? The story tells us: Scriptures and the breaking of the bread. That sounds very much like our Mass. That is why we go to Mass each week to be connected with God. When we are connected to God, we are aware of His plan. We feel confidence and hope.
In the ancient world, people boasted about each one’s gods. They would ask each other, “What does your god do?” Some would say, my god can blow up mountains and spew lava flows. My god is the volcano god. Another will claim, my god burns everything up. My god is the lightning bolt god. Someone else will say, my god blows down trees. My god is the hurricane god. When they asked Christians what god they had they said, our God breaks bread with us. They would be astounded. They knew what breaking bread means. When you break bread with someone it means that you are one of them, that you are a part of the family. When the Lord breaks bread with us it means is that we are His next of kin, His closest relative. When you are connected you will know. You will never despair or lose hope. You will know that with God there is a plan.Back to All Homilies