Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

The letter from St. James today sets a scene many of us have probably experienced, passing by someone without adequate food or clothing.  Just maybe we may have passed by someone with a sign asking for money or work at an intersection and simply passed by without making any eye contact.  Maybe we were in a rush… Maybe we felt uncomfortable… or we were unsure how to help.

But St. James, reminds us, “our faith need to be put into action, every day in any number of ways.”

Throughout our lives in ways we know and do not know, we “plant seeds of faith, hope and love.”   A faith that is rooted in daily actions of faith, hope and love.

It goes without saying that we need to continue to grow in awareness so that we can plant seeds of faith, hope and love.

Kindness… Living our faith is not something we do for a reward… if we do, we just might be selfish.  But in the end, every form of kindness, of faith lived and shared in caring and love will produce good fruit and will celebrate God’s love for others.

Here’s a story that might illustrate my point:

A young boy, out in the country to study wildlife, became very hungry and decided he would stop at the next farmhouse.  A lovely young woman opened the door.  Instead of asking for a meal, the boy asked for a glass of water.

However the woman, thought he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk.    He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t own me anything,” she replied.  “Mother taught us never to accept pay for kindness.”

The young man then said, “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Years later, this young woman became ill.  The local doctors sent her to the big city, where Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for a consult.

He heard the name of the town where the woman came from, his eyes lit up.  Immediately, he went to the woman’s hospital room and on entering recognized the woman at once.  He then went back to work, determined to do his best to cure the woman’s illness.  From that day forward, Dr. Kelly gave special attention to the woman and saw her through her recovery.

Dr. Kelly, one of the four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins Hospital, requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval.  He looked at it, then wrote something on it.  When the woman received the bill, she feared opening it because she was sure it might take the rest of her life to pay for it.  Finally, she looked, and noticed something was written on the edge of the note, “Paid in full with a glass of milk”.

Tears filled her eyes as she made the connection and remembered the hungry boy she helped years before.

Oh, by the way, Dr. Kelly has a habit of taking care of the bills of 3 out of 4 of his patients.  Surely his kindness made many of his patients feel much better.

As St. Paul reminds us today, “Our faith needs to be put into action…”

May we continue to do so – any time and every day…