Sunday, August 15, 2010

Homily for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Waterspout

(I did not take this picture, and I could not find any that were close enough… apparently people only take pictures of them from far away!)

A couple of weeks ago I spent my summer vacation on Lake Erie. It was a great week. I had people out to the house non-stop… priests, friends, my family. There was one evening where I was actually alone for about a half an hour between company so I sat by the lake to pray. At our house we have a cement patio that overlooks the water with a metal pole that goes all around it for a hand railing. I opened up my breviary and began to say evening prayer. When I was about half way through (praying the Magnificat, which is Mary’s great proclamation of the Greatness of the Lord) I noticed something happening in the horizon. It got real dark and windy and I noticed way off I noticed a whirlwind and water began to lift out of the water. The neighbor told me he’d only seen a couple water spouts in his lifetime and he would tell me later that he’d never seen one anything like the size of this. The tunnel got larger and larger and began to come closer. Numerous times I debated watching or running for cover. It finally got so windy that it blew all of the patio furniture off the patio and down into the neighbors bushes. I closed my breviary and decided to clench my arms around the rail and I held on as the wind raged around me. Even then I thought, maybe I shouldn’t stay here, but I was totally taken up in the wonder and the power of God before me. After it came within about a hundred yards and I was almost ready to run, it shifted and began to move East up the coast. It got calm for a moment and then rain poured so hard it felt like hail. It was then that I ran for the house.

I realized that I have this innate attraction to be taken up into something, even if it is against my better judgment. And I think it’s true for all of us. We all desire to be caught up in something. Wanting to stay, knowing I should probably run. We all desire to be caught up in something. We are attracted to this idea of being taken out of ourselves. It can be scary at times. But Mary shows us that we can be caught up in God. A total and unconditional Yes.

As we celebrate the feast of the Assumption we are reminded that it is possible to be caught up into God. Mary was so taken up with God, her Yes was so strong, she grabbed onto that rail of faith so tight that:

She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.

We too, will either be caught up in God, or caught up in something else. Think of all the things we can get caught up in:

We get caught up in the moment, maybe an argument that we didn’t intend to start, or caught up in an action or behavior that we never intended, or caught up in good book that we can’t put down, maybe the latest Twilight book or Harry Potter or John Grisham, caught up in a fight or a bad relationship, caught up searching for new apps for our droid or IPhone, caught up in facebook or Farmville and waist way more time then we intended.. The worst is when I get caught up in a lame TV movie on a lazy afternoon and waist hours because we feel like we have to watch it until the end. Or we get caught up surfing the net because of some junk email that someone sent us, or caught up surging the net going to websites we have no business going to. Or we get caught up in a relationship that we should not be in or a love affair that needs to end.

Like me watching the waterspout and clenching my hands to the rails, we often have this tendency to get caught up into something and we often times stay longer then we reasonably should. The truth is that God gave us this desire to be caught with Him. And if we are not caught up with him we are going to be caught up to something else.

What are you caught up in right now? Where are you staying longer than you reasonably should?

The truth is we all desire to be caught up in something. If we are not caught up in God we are going to be caught up in something or someone else. On this Feast day, God shows us through the Assumption of Mary, that it is possible to be caught up entirely body and soul to Him.


  1. Fr.,
    I DO get caught up in reading your homilies...but I'm always left for the better -- thank you for continuing to post your homilies. This one and last weeks's I printed and shared with others. God bless...Dustine



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