The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

12th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Fri, 06/30/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

In greeting Jesus, as he bows down before Jesus,
the leper in today’s gospel expresses his distress and helplessness.
He submits not only his cause but his very soul to Jesus.
In showing homage, the leper recognizes the power and authority found in Jesus
and entrusts himself to God’s mercy.
 
Homage is similar to honor.  The leper honors Jesus.  He shows respect.
He kneels down at his feet, as a slave would kneel down at the feet of the Master.
The leper knows he is in the presence of a great prophet.
The leper knows his situation is dire and believes Jesus can heal him and restore him to community life.
 
An important element of our community prayer,
an important element of our celebration of the Eucharist, is homage.
As we gather together we show reverent homage to God.
We honor what is divine through outward signs: genuflecting, bowing, kneeling.
In doing so we are submitting ourselves to God, dedicating ourselves to God.
We are turning to God in our distress and helplessness
acknowledging God’s power and His readiness to heal.
 
Showing homage, giving homage, is also a way of praising God with gladness.
It is a prayer without words, so to speak.
With our body we express externally what we hold internally in our heart, in our soul.
It is part of worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.
As we bow down before Him we acknowledge our allegiance to Him
as King and ruler of all creation;
as the God who sent Jesus Christ His Son to bring salvation to the world.
 
We sometimes limit our acts of homage to God, to Jesus Christ,
to our communal celebrations, the sacraments, the Eucharist.
We sometimes limit our acts of homage to God to the Church building proper.
It is a sacred space.  It is the fitting place to bow down before the Lord.
 
John Paul II pushes us beyond these set limits when he says
“the greatest homage we can give to Christ is to manifest his presence to the world
through the fruits of faith, hope and charity….as we fulfil our Christian vocation.”
The act of submitting ourselves to the power and glory of God is not limited to formal acts of worship.
It is something we can and really should be doing throughout each day.
 
When we get up in the morning we can establish the habit of greeting God with homage:
“O Lord, you have opened my eyes to a new day.  I am grateful to You for You are the source of my being.  Without You I am nothing.”
 
When some experience touches us deeply we can spiritually bow down before God and say:
“O Lord, the mystery of my life is wonderful, for You have made it so.  I recognize I have no right to what I have been given as gift and blessing from You.  You are worthy of my praise.  You are generous.  Help me, in turn, to be generous.”
 
As we enjoy the goodness of others, the bounty and beauty of the earth, in that internal sacred place, in the inner sanctuary of our heart, we can kneel before God and say:  “O Lord, I am blessed.  You give me eyes that I might see, ears that I might hear, fingers that I might touch, feet that I might walk.  You give me a mind that I might think and imagine.  You give me a heart that I might love.  Most important of all, You give me faith that I might know salvation.  I accept you as Creator and offer you the gift of my attention, my time, my faithfulness, and my trust.  Amen!”