+ Most Rev. Michael F. Olson
Bishop of Fort Worth
Homily: Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face
Holy Trinity Carmel
October 1, 2015
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
1 John 4:7-16
|Saint Thérèse of Lisieux|
Those who have received this Good News of love are not to hoard it but to share it. St. Therese knows that her very vocation is love. Her vocation of love is beyond even the confines of the dates of her earthly life, "I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth." Her vocation is Love. Love is at the very heart of Christian discipleship. It is first love that is fully manifested by Jesus Christ on the Cross.
There are very many times when injustice, especially an unjust system, seems to rule the day---but Therese shows us through her little way of confidence that it is love that will never be outdone---it is Jesus Himself who wins the day when we are overwhelmed by injustice and evil.
"His yoke is easy and His burden is light." The yoke that Jesus speaks of is for all of us; it is Jesus Himself; it is love; it is for us, the little way of confidence in God’s complete and loving Providence as shown us by St. Therese, the greatest saint in modern times. In today’s Gospel, it is the Scribes and Pharisees who are seeking to find the norm for living exclusively within the Law. They are trying to live within the Law without accepting it as a Covenant that involves personal conversion and confidence; they want the Law but without God Who has revealed the Law and Who has revealed Himself in the Law. They want the Law of self-sufficiency without the sacrifice of authentic love. The Pharisees and the Scribes are not unlike much of the religious leadership of Therese’s day inside her Carmel and also throughout much of Jansenist France. The trust in Grace is too frightening to them and cowardice scatters the flock as it exchanges love for politics or privilege.