Sermon for Epiphany, Servant of God Isaac Hecker CSP
Excerpts from a Sermon delivered at the Church of San Andrea delle Valle in Rome.
It he beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God then created man in his own image and likeness. From the subsistence of the earth God made man’s body. Out of God’s own bosom He breathed the breath of his own life into man, and man became a living soul! Where did man’s life come? From God’s own bosom. For the soul finds no rest until it finds God and reposes in that bosom out of which its life was first breathed forth. The breath of God still moves in us. Reason seeks to know God. The heart longs to possess God. This is the great yearning of all souls; the meaning of the hope of every human heart. The destiny of the soul is to come to God; to be one with God.
Christianity teaches that the soul is the image of God, His living image and likeness. The image has the capacity to take on its original, therefore unions with the soul and God is not impossible. God has united His Divinity with all the infinite attributes of our humanity without change or alteration of either, in one personality. This is called the Incarnation. God became man. There was one who was true God and true man, hi is called Christ
Look at the Gospels from this point of view. Our Lord is introduced to us as a true child of an earthly mother, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger. He was not above participation in social amusements and gave his sanction to a marriage ceremony and to further the enjoyment of the guests, at the suggestion of his mother, he change water into wine. His eyes were open to the beauties of nature. He was charmed with the lilies, studied trees, read the meaning of clouds, watched the birds build their nests and listened with delight to their cheering song. The sowing of seed, the ripening harvest the plays and dancing in the marketplace; these and all the varied events of daily life and of human interest, attracted his attention and furnished illustrations for those parables s of his in which he conveyed to men his sublimist of lessons.
It was attached to the city of Jerusalem. He was fond of children. His heart was alive to the feelings of friends. He pitied and blessed the poor, comforted those who mourned and refreshed those who were weary. Jesus was a man whose eyes were open to all things beautiful and whose heart was filled with human tenderness and feeling. Why do men think that this life has nothing to do with the next? If so they are greatly mistaken. God is the author of nature. How admirable is God’s name in all his works. Man is born into the masterpiece of the visible creation, his soul bears the image of his maker and his faculties are a gift from God.
Paulist Father Paul Robichaud CSP is Historian of the Paulist Fathers and Postulator of the Cause of Father Hecker. His office is located at the Hecker Center in Washington D.C.