Unmask your identity lies and announce the truth.
This marks the second of what Fr. Steve says are the two most important homilies he has ever preached. The first was on December 10, 2017: "Mending our brokenness through Healing."
We are all wounded.
Fr. Steve begins by stating this astonishing truth: The Lord is madly in love with us and he chose us before time began.
Jesus urged John the Baptist to baptize him because he was identifying with us in our fallen state. His baptism is our baptism.
Fr. Steve then read some passages from Bob Schuchts’s book “Be Transformed.” Everything we need is there at our baptism. So why is it that we tend to sin? Sin comes out of our wounds. The world is broken and we wound each other intentionally or unintentionally. Each of us likes to pretend that we have it all together. We put on a face for others, in order to pretend that we are better than we are. But in the quiet of our hearts we wonder if we have what it takes. Schuchts’s book asserts that the sacraments can change us and that one of the biggest barriers to healing is unforgiveness. When we don’t forgive, we create a barrier to healing and wholeness. When we humble ourselves and bring our brokenness to Jesus he can heal us. The sacraments are God’s remedy for our brokenness. They restore our identity and restore our vision.
The Power of Words.
Fr. Steve talks about how blessings confirm us in our true identity and curses get us to believe lies about ourselves. When the Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism, the voice of the Father declared, “You are my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.” That word of blessing is for us too. If we could dare to believe it we would be freer to be ourselves. Jesus never lost sight of his true identity during his passion or throughout the persecutions of his life. If we are rooted in our true identity as sons and daughters of God, then whatever opposition life throws at us and whatever curses we encounter won’t affect us.
Curses come from the sins of others who have been affected by similar wounds and curses. They can have a devastating effect on us. They form our identity in falsehood. The old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is nonsense.
Fr. Steve gives an example of the power of words from the book “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist. Even water can be affected by the power of words.
If we look for things to thank and praise in others instead of criticizing them, healing will ensue. Words are powerful. Lies and curses can have a devastating effect in our lives. Blessings, on the other hand, liberate us.
Fr. Steve led the congregation through healing prayers renouncing lies of rejection and powerlessness and announcing truth. He urges us that if our words have wounded loved ones, we should humbly ask their forgiveness for tearing them down rather than building them up. Let’s not give up on anybody, he insists, least of all ourselves.