To watch Deacon Andy’s homily from the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Children of all ages, especially our First Communion children, I want to share with you a phrase that is often used as a greeting and as a response; that has its’ beginnings some 250 years or so.
Goes like this: God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
And I am sure that all of us children can think of at least one way God has been and continues to be good because:
God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Well, today, on this your First Communion Day, we celebrate another way that God is good all the time.
The gift of Holy Communion, the gift of the Body & Blood of Jesus. The gift of God’s Presence… shared with us is meant to be shared with everyone so that you and I remember and others will also come to know that: God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Today in the second Bible reading, the people of Philippi and all of today are reminded that “We must have the same attitude as Jesus!”
How are our thoughts and words and actions like Jesus every day? Do our thoughts, words and actions remind others that: God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
As I shared last week at Mass, God’s goodness is always more “GOODER” than we would think.
How can… How will you and I be “MORE GOODER” today, tomorrow and every day? Just as: God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
If we want, our attitudes, our words, our actions, can be that of Jesus. Every week our God shares with us ways, even new ways, to be Jesus and bring Jesus to everyone, every day.
WHY? Because… God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Every week when we attend Mass, we are learning more, understanding more of what the attitude of Jesus needs to be in our lives as person, family and Parish.
WHY? Because… God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
We who hear God’s Word, who receive Holy Communion, are meant to BE Jesus, to BRING Jesus to one another and to everyone.
So that you and I and all we meet never forget that: God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
To watch Deacon Andy’s homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
A while back the daily comic strip “For Better or Worse” featured, 6 year old Lizzy coming home after a bad day at school. Lizzy confides in her father, “Daddy, why don’t some kids get along with other kids? Sometimes, when you think someone’s your friend, they’re really not. Some kids do mean things for no reason. Kids fight over dumb stuff. They pick on each other. They do not share – and they say things about other kids that are not true… I can’t wait till I’m grown up. Grown-ups do not do things like that to each other.”
Lizzy turns to walk away, leaving her dad with a stunned and sad expression on his face that says, “Oh Lizzy, if you only knew…”
In our scriptures today we hear that Joshua and the Disciples of Jesus, thought they were the only dispensers of God’s blessings. But Moses says to Joshua and Jesus says to his Disciples, “Nay, nay!”
Joshua and Jesus remind everyone that, bringing the message of God, bringing the healing of God was the JOB of everyone.
Seems to me our Scriptures are asking us to look within… to be more open to the working of God, the work of the Holy Spirit – among us, through others, and even in our selves.
Seems to me the Scriptures are asking us (maybe better put – Jesus is asking us) – to celebrate, to applaud, to live more faithfully – the call of others, our own call to bring blessing to others every day.
To paraphrase Lizzy, folks, why don’t some people get along with other people? Sometimes, when you think someone’s your friend, they’re really not. Some people do mean things for no reason. People fight over dumb stuff. They pick on each other. They do not share – and they say things about other people that are not true.
May we and our children really come to know a world and a people who witness daily to a faith (centered in Jesus and his word and his way) that brings us close and closer to the “Kingdom of God here on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
A world where Lizzy’s expectation of being a grown-up are true, “because grown-ups do not do things like that to each other.”
It seems every week, if not every day – Pope Francis, in his down to earth, direct way, hits the mark. This past week, in one of his daily homilies the Pope shared, “good works, do not keep well in the fridge.”
“Good Works,” said the Pope, “need to be shared the minute there is a need.”
The Pope continued, “reacting to someone in need by thinking, ‘I’ll take care of it tomorrow,’ is a classic, recurring form of hiding the light of faith given to each Christian person at Baptism.”
Today in the Gospel we hear Jesus in a story try to “raise the consciousness of people” to “respond to the needs of people in front of them.” In reflecting upon today’s Gospel, two words came to mind: complacency and indifference – that seem to be a growing part of our society.
As I thought more about the reality of complacency and indifference, I came across an article that stated, “complacency is akin to something called ‘RUSTOUT.'” Said the authors, “Rustout is more common in America than in other developed countries and it is actually even scarier than burnout because, while burnout can wear down your body, “Rustout” can wipe out your soul and spirit.
Shared the authors, “*Rustout is the slow death that follows when we stop making the choices that keep life alive. It is the feeling of numbness that comes from taking the safe way, never accepting new challenges, continually surrendering to the day-to-day routine. Rustout means we are no longer growing, but at best, are simply maintaining.”
The authors ended by sharing, “*Rustout is the opposite of burnout. Burnout is overdoing – Rustout is under-being.”
Jesus’s story about Lazarus and the rich man seem to belong to a time long ago and a place far away – but many Lazarus’s are at our gates whom we often overlook, ignore, dismiss.
Today, Lazarus may be the person in need we see on the street or TV each day; Lazarus may be the relative or friend that we have just not caught up with because we are busy; Lazarus may be sitting at the desk right next to us; Lazarus may even be sitting at our dinner table every night.
Both Jesus and Pope Francis are reminding us that every human being is created in the image of God and we are called to embrace one another as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of God.
In the process of growing and living our Baptismal Faith, may we as person, family and parish continue to put into practice words of Pope Francis, “good works, do not keep well in the fridge. Good works need to be shared the minute there is a need.”
*Footnote to Homily: See: The Rustout Syndrome, an Article by Richard Leider & Steve Buchholtz.
Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 18:25-28; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32
My guess we know people who have said yes to us or someone else, and never acted upon the yes. We might even have to say that about ourselves from time to time.
And maybe one of the reasons we come to Mass weekly is our awareness of our faults and failing, but we also know that with Jesus, our lives can change for the better. All we have to do is turn to Jesus, to ask, and to live what we ask for – what Jesus asks of us.
Pope Francis this past week in a weekday homily noted that in the time of Jesus, and even today, many followers of Jesus followed him for the “sake of convenience” only, or perhaps with the desire to be “a little better” only.
Pope Francis reminds us there are two conditions to following Jesus:
1. To listen to the Word of God – and – 2. To put it into practice
“This is the Christian life! Simple, simple, simple.” You can see the Pope with his little smile say these words, “To listen to the Word of God. Put it into practice. This is the Christian life! Simple, simple, simple.”
The Pope continued, “We need to really listen to the Word of God!” [Maybe this is the reason some of us think that Mass is so boring; we are unaware of why we are here.]
We need to ask:
- What are the Scripture Readings saying to me?
- How do the Scripture Readings speak to my heart?
- What is God saying to me?
As we listen, as we continue to listen to the Word of God at Mass that comes to us in song, in prayer, in scriptures, in the Eucharist, and through the Spirit; What are you hearing God share with YOU ???
The Gospels were not just written for people of a long time ago, the Gospels were written for EACH of US!
The Pope also shared that “putting the Gospel into practice is not always easy. It is easier,” said the Pope, “to live a mellow life without worrying about the demands of the Word of God.”
The Commandments and the Beatitudes are sure guidelines for anyone who would really attempt to understand the requirements that the Gospel places on us and act accordingly, always counting on Jesus for help.
“Jesus,” reminds the Pope, “waits for you and me and us to live the faith, and to live our words of yes to love God and love our neighbor.” (Reminds one of our Baptismal Commitment)
The Lord is always sowing his Word and asks us only to have an open heart, to listen, and to be willing to put what we hear from God into practice. Maybe this is why we complain sometimes when we hear the same message, because it is a message we do not want to respond to, or a message that challenges us to do something we do not want to do, like change.
One of the thoughts most homilists have when preparing a homily are two questions:
1. In one sentence, what’s the point of today’s homily?
God has something to say to each of us, each weekend, at Mass. We need to be open to hearing God’s Word for us and to live that Word.
2. In one sentence, what do I want the people to remember?
May we say YES to the command to love God and his people and may we live that yes to love of God and his people everyday.
And so we pray this weekend: Lead me Lord in the path of your commandments, that is your Word, that I may learn with Your guidance to put it into practice. (Amen!)