Project Description

12A Jeremiah 20:10-13 / Romans 5:12-15 / Matthew 10:26-33


A writer arrived at a monastery to

write a book about a monk there

known to be a great Spiritual Master.


“People say you’re a spiritual genius. . . .

Are you?”


“You might say so,”

said the Spiritual Master with a smile.


“And what makes somebody a spiritual genius?”

asked the curious reporter.


“The ability to see,” said the Master,

“the ability to see.”


The writer was as perplexed as a

2nd grader in a calculus class.


Scratching his head, he muttered,

“To see what?”


The old wise Spiritual Master quietly replied,


“To see. . . .

the butterfly in a caterpillar—

the eagle in an egg—

the saint in a selfish person—

life in death—

unity in separation—

the divine in the human—

and the human in the divine.”


Isn’t that a great story!!!!                                                   (DeMello)









To have the grace to see:

The butterfly in a caterpillar—

the eagle in an egg—

the saint in a selfish person—

life in death—

unity in separation—

the divine in the human—

and the human in the divine.”


Have you ever wondered

who’s in charge here?


I mean in the big—big picture. . .

who’s in charge of the universe?


It’s a legitimate question isn’t it?!?


With COVID. . . .


With so many human injustices. . . .


With deep-seated hatred.


and violence. . . .


and suffering.


Who is in charge?


Are we just born to a certain destiny?


Are we pre-destined to a certain fate?


Merely puppets—

not truly free—

but controlled by the unknown

puppeteers of the universe. . . .


First pulling this string. . .

and then pull that string. . .

playing favorites.


You know some have sailed right through all of this. . . .


Some opportunists have even profited, no doubt. . . .

Others filled with anxiety. . . .

and hurting.


Is this just some big cosmic puppet show?




What’ you’re fate?


You know—

the founders of Western Culture—

the Greeks—

they sure believed in fate.


Much of Greek mythology is stories of people

going to great lengths to try to alter their fate. . . .

with no avail.


Fate is just too powerful!!!



for the Greeks—

was a terrifying and unstoppable force.


Fate was even more powerful than the gods.


The gods couldn’t escape their fate.


Even the great god Zeus was more of

a victim of fate than a dispenser of fate.


Are we predestined?


What’s our fate?


You know what scares me even more

than the idea of fate?


It’s chance. . . .it’s randomness.


What if nothing has meaning?


What if there is no plan?



What if there’s not even cosmic puppeteers. . .


Stuff. . . .just happens.


That to me is even more frightening. . . .

and despairing.


Fate or chance?


Predestined or arbitrary?


Well our Catholic answer may surprise you.


We do believe that we are predestined.


Now we certainly don’t believe

in the pre-destination that John Calvin taught. . . .


That God predestines some for

heaven and others for hell.


And we do believe in free will. . .


We have the ability to choose our actions

in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.


We are not mere puppets being

controlled by strings and puppeteers. . .


But even with our freedom. . . .

we are still predestined.


Listen to St. Paul!!!


This comes from his Letter to the Romans:                                    (8:28-30)


We know that all things work for the good

for those who love God,

who are called according to his purpose. . . . .


And those he foreknew are predestined

to be conformed into the image of His Son . . .


And those he predestines he also

calls to glory and justification.

You see, we are predestined into Jesus Christ.


Everything about Jesus was part of God’s plan—

predestined. . . .

and we are predestined into that plan.


We were created for God. . . .


We were created to be with God. . .


Here on this earth. . . .


And in heaven.


And what does that predestination look like?


What does St. Paul say?


All things work for the good of those who believe. . . .


God is not some capricious puppeteer.


And we are pre-destined for a purpose. . .  .


We are pre-destined to be conformed

into the image of the Son. . . .


we are predestined to be like Jesus.


That’s what we’re predestined for. . . .

we are predestined into a plan of love.


And the only way we can mess up

our the incredible predestined destiny. . . .


is to exercise our free will and

choose some other destiny for ourselves.


And you know what I love

about today’s Gospel?


It’s that Jesus can take all of these

deep philosophical and

theological concepts. . .


like free-will and predestination. . . .


concepts that scholars have written

enough books about to be stacked to the moon and back. . .


into such simple and beautiful language that

we can all understand. . .

and take great comfort in.


Even the hairs on our heads are counted.


God even knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. . .  

aren’t you more important than a sparrow?


Doesn’t that say it all!!!


We are pre-destined into a grand plan of love. . . .


We are predestined into Jesus Christ. . . .


We are predestined to be conformed into the image of Jesus. . . .


We are predestined for glory and justification.


We are somebody!!!!


Even the hairs on our head are counted.


And if we pay real close attention—

even when it appears that there’s

nothing but chaos and mayhem—


even when we humans use our

freedom and muck things up . . .


even when we experience things we don’t understand. . . .


We’ll still see signs of our great human destiny.


Sometimes big signs—

like good—

Gospel societal change—

emerging from evil.



Or like someone risking their lives for someone else. . . .

Like a health care worker caring for a sick COVID patient. . . .


Or sometimes just little signs. . . .

like a beautiful sunset.


Now I have to admit—

that for me—

there are times when I don’t see it.


When in my near and far-sightedness—

With my clouded human vision—

I can’t even imagine there is some grand plan. . . .


Where the fear and the chaos and

the suffering are overwhelming.


And again, it’s those words in today’s

Gospel where Jesus reassures us that

we are predestined into a grand plan of love. . . .


Don’t be afraid of those who can

kill the body and not the soul.


God is saying no matter what happening. . . .

Our final destiny—

Our final destiny—

is to glory and justification!!!


I’d like to end where I started. . . .


With the words of an old wise spiritual Master. . . .


The spiritual genius is the one

who is able to see and

to participate in

God’s predestined plan for us. . . .


The spiritual genius has at least

some awareness that the Kingdom of God is at hand. . . .

and this Kingdom will. . . .

in God’s times become fully manifest.




The spiritual genius sees:


the butterfly in a caterpillar—

the eagle in an egg—

the saint in a selfish person—

life in death—

unity in separation—

the divine in the human—

and the human in the divine.


Holy Spirit 06/20-21/2020