Homily: Tuesday of the fourth week in Lent

Ezek 47:1-9, 12 Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-3a, 5-16

Sabbath. How do we enter into the Sabbath?
I want to read you one of my favourite poems, by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

God's wilderness. Enter into God's wilderness, the wilderness he created. Such a bit part of the US is the wild west. I grew up in New York City, so for me the wild west was across the river, the Jersey shore. That's how it was, until I went to Berkeley. The wilderness is such a part of America. Europe is very different. The Native Americans have had a big impact on us. I've never met a Native American, except for Archbishop Chaput, but nevertheless, they've influenced the US. Everyone has been a Boy Scout, and has gone camping. Not so in Europe. Studying over there, I went camping with one of my friends to the Black Forest of Germany. It sounds so wild, doesn't it? The Black Forest. But when we got there it was like a KOA. The tents right next to each other and everyone had coffee together in a sort of cafe.
We're so lucky to be here. The mountains are right out there, and the sky is blue. Most people do not get to see the sky this blue. How fortunate we are.
Later after camping in Germany I went to the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia. That too was so beautiful, and nice, in autumn.
The only way you're able to sit here now, attentive, is because you spent 6-7 hours asleep, resting, a type of Sabbath. Sabbath is rest. So, this week, you have a free weekend. Go, spend it exploring God's wilderness.

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