To watch Deacon Andy’s Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
What a story we hear in our first reading today from the Book of Maccabees!
It seems incredible that a mother would encourage here seven sons to die rather than taste pork. But of course there is something greater here, the refusal to eat pork expressed a fearless proclamation of faith in the God of life!
The Maccabee Family accepted death rather than renounce their faith, their religion…
The Maccabee reading today, besides being a saga about heroes, also gives us a glimpse of how the people of Israel developed their ideas about eternal life based on their understanding of God’s goodness and justice.
Sometimes to make a point, we take the extreme and the Maccabees story does this! The Maccabees sacrificed their lives to proclaim that faithfulness to God and integrity are more important than life itself.
Today’s scriptures, invite us to reflect on the great and small things that might threaten our integrity as people of faith, for we too face challenges daily in living our faith!
For instance, does our living of our faith compare to what God asks of us? Starting with the Commandments, The Beatitudes, The Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy… When the living of our faith asks for sacrifice, how do we respond? Do we rationalize why it is OK for me, when the living of our faith does not fit my schedule, my thoughts, my way.
It is so easy to walk away… How about letting God into our lives… How about staying and persevering with the grace of God.
Does the life we live daily at home, work, or school, out and about, in word and action say to others that we are people of faith, that God is the center of my life?
Do we talk about our faith, our church, our conviction with others during the week in ways to foster faith, in ways that encourage others to put their faith in God and in ways that proclaim my faith, our faith, in a God who loves us and cares for us now and eternally?
Maybe today and every day we can ask for the prayers of the Maccabees as we try to imitate their conviction and courage each day, as person, family and Parish…
Look around you for the people of faith who remind you and encourage you to let God be your guide in living life and pray that others will see in YOU, in US, people of faith who are convinced that God is our guide always, everywhere & eternally.
To watch Deacon Andy’s homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Our Scriptures today, as they do every year as we near the end of the Liturgical Year, have us reflect upon the end times. Death is something we usually do not spend our time thinking or talking about.
As people of Faith, we believe that life here on Earth is not the end all and be all, but a step if you will to life eternal with our God of love and mercy.
But if there is one thought that comes from the readings, especially the first reading, is the FAITHFULNESS to one’s convictions of faith even in time of challenge, even in the face of death. They truly believed that God would raise them up, that they would live eternally with God.
We are probably not going to be threatened with death, however people in our world die daily for their faith. At the very least it makes me wonder how would I stand up to my faith in God, in Jesus in the face of death.
But at the very least, standing up for our faith happens in seemingly little and small ways, yet important ways every day. We pray, we love, we forgive, we help others, we serve others, we grow in being faithful disciples of the Lord at home, work, school, Parish and community: everywhere and anywhere…
Some say life was easier in the past, maybe yes, maybe no.
There is no doubt that life is serious, but there always need to be a balance to life. A balance that needs to include humor. Truth is, we probably do not laugh enough. As one theologian said, “Humor is a prelude to faith, and laughter is the beginning of prayer.”
In his stand-up comedy routine before hundreds of thousands of people awaiting Pope Francis’ visit to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia last year, Jim Gaffigan said:
“Do me a favor in the audience, I know when I am done, you are going to be tempted to leave, but stick around! We’ve got some amazing people coming up. There’s a guy coming up, 78 years old, used to be a bouncer of a dance club. He is going to talk for a little bit”.
Of course, Gaffigan was referring to Pope Francis, who among the many jobs he worked as a young man, was the bouncer of a dance club for a short time before entering the priesthood. Gaffigan later offered more tongue-in-cheek humor about the struggles of parenting, “Here we are at the World Meeting of Families, right? And parenting, it is an incredible sacrifice. It is expensive. It is exhausting. But the good news is, eventually you die.”
Speaking about his kids, Gaffigan said, “I have an 11 year old, a 9 year old, a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a 3 year old. I should really learn their names. But they are amazing kids. And I will start the bidding at 50 dollars.”
Gaffigan’s use of humor is an outlet for stress, intended to diffuse family tension, encourage everyone to take themselves a bit more lightly, and demonstrate a way to create joy (and find laughs) in times of difficulty.
May we take life and our faith seriously every day; and may we also take humor and laughter seriously.