Second Sunday of Lent

To listen to Fr. Joe’s homily for the Second Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE!

During the past two weeks, I am sure we have all heard about and/or watched a bit of the Olympics originating from South Korea.  And one of the repeating pictures of the Olympics is the joy of winning a gold medal.

A picture that seemed to be amplified here in the United States, when the USA Women’s Hockey team won the gold medal.  (A win that came in a shootout, after several periods of the USA team – to put it nicely – not looking too good).

And to go back a few years to 1980 – you may have heard or even attended the 1980 Olympics just up the road from here in Lake Placid and may have heard the famous quote that came out of the mouth of Al Michaels.  With five seconds to go in the USA Men’s Hockey game, “Do you believe in miracles?” as a USA team made up of 21 year old amateurs, beat the seemingly unbeatable Russians 4-2.  This was after being beat themselves in a NYC exhibition game 10-3 by the Russians just 3 days before the Olympics.

Oh, and this victory was not for the gold medal.  There was one last “Finnish – ing” touch – a victory 2 days later as the US beat Finland…

Here’s an interesting behind the scenes point to the 1980 Olympics.  Before the gold medal game, USA hockey coach, Herb Brooks, who usually had a speech mapped out for the team, walked in and said to the team, “If you lose this game, you’ll take it to your graves.” And he walked to the door and said, “Your [expletive] graves.”

One of the USA team members shared some time later, “I remember sitting there thinking, ‘My God, I’m going to be 40 years old some day and telling somebody we were this close.’ That was a horrendous thought.”

And of course the chant that seems to go with any USA win is a loud and repeating: USA, USA…

And we should be proud to be Americans… people of the USA.  And so should other people from other nations be proud to be a citizen of their country….

But as the most recent “Miracle on Ice” happened this past week with the gold medal by the USA Women’s Hockey Team, it got me thinking:

  • How proud are we as Catholics?
  • How proud are we with the gift of faith?
  • How proud are we to have the opportunity to live our Catholic faith?
  • How proud are we to invite others to join us a people of faith?

Many years ago in the mid 1970’s, the true story was shared about Bob and Dolores Hope having dinner with Bishop Hubbard.  Bob Hope was in town for a show at the Latham Starlight Theater.  At dinner, Dolores Hope went on and on and on about how wonderful it was to be Catholic.  To which Bishop Hubbard eventually quipped, “Yes, I know, I’m Catholic too.”

As a person and family, who knows that we are Catholic?  Who should know that we are Catholic?  Catholic not because we say so; Catholic because we are so and Catholic because we live so…

The first reading today about Abraham is not about Isaiah, but rather a test of faith; faith in God (a test Abraham passed with flying colors).

To use the words of Al Michaels: Do you believe?

May our lives of faith at home, school, work, parish, and community and beyond speak volumes about what we believe as we take the next step today, tomorrow, this week in being the faithful Disciples of God that we are all called to be in our daily living.