A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” – 8/25/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
When I was a kid, I used to have this recurring nightmare, of coming home from school one day, only to find our house locked, and my parents and the rest of my family inside the house. When I rang the doorbell or knocked on the door, my parents would come to the door, only to say that they didn’t know who I was, that they weren’t going to let me, and that I should get off their front porch immediately. It became like my worst fear. I was going to be homeless in third grade. Now, this was a very strange nightmare, because it is NOT like my parents ever threatened my brothers and I, with this particular punishment. This fear must have just been something that I cooked up in my irrational subconscious. But it was there. For whatever reason, and wherever it came from, I have long been scared of being locked out, and turned away from home. Because that’s not the way that it is supposed to work when you get home. Where were the milk and cookies, when you walk in the door? Where’s the caring “How was your day?” from your Mom and Dad? Or maybe I had just watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” too many times. You know, the old Christmas movie, where Jimmy Stewart is being shown what it would be like, if he were never born, and he goes back to Bedford Falls, and nobody recognizes him, not even when he knocks on the door of his own home! His own wife and children don’t recognize him. Maybe that’s where my nightmare comes from. I don’t know. But what a horrible feeling it would be, to not be recognized or welcomed home. I even had the nightmare a couple of times when I was in college, and when I dreamt it then, I came home and not only did my parents not answer the door, but they in fact had sold the house and moved without telling me. How horrible it would be, to go home, and to find out that it wasn’t home, and that you weren’t recognized or welcome there. It kinda sounds like the ultimate rejection!
Jesus tells us a very similar tale of rejection, when answering the question today about how many will be saved. He reminds us that there are many who have NOT build a real relationship with Jesus, and who will be turned away on the day when we will want to be admitted to the Heavenly banquet. St. Luke’s Gospel text says twice that He, the Lord, will say “I do not know where you are from. Believe me, if ever there’s going to be a time that we are going to want to be recognized and welcomed home, it is going to on that day that we go home to our Heavenly reward!
The time, of course, to do something about that, is right now, not later. We need to be building our relationship with God now, so that He know us intimately, and that we know Him as best as we possibly can. And how do we do that? Well, like any of relationships, we spend time with Jesus. We talk to Him in prayer and in praise and Adoration. Too many times we pay lip service to prayer, but at some point, we really need to become people of prayer! We learn as much as we can about Him, as we pass through this life. We need to learn as much as we possible can about Him. Getting to know Him and allowing Him to get to know us!
And maybe we need to remember that religious education is not just for children, we ALL need it. We’ve all got to keep growing in our relationship with God! And parents, we need to remember our special responsibility to raise our children in a relationship with God. We’ve got to get our kids to PRE, and religious education, and the youth groups. This is our responsibility. We unite ourselves with Him and with His people, the Church. There are countless ways for us to build our relationship with God. And now, is precisely our time to be doing it. Later on, it will be too late. Now is our time to build up that relationship! Very shortly, following the Eucharistic Prayer, we are going to sing together “The Great Amen.” And then when we come to Communion, we again say “Amen” to the priest or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, when they say, “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ”. Today, let our “Amens” in receiving Him indicate not just that we believe in who He is, but also that we are committed to building a lasting relationship with Him, in which He really know us, and we really know Him! On judgment day we are going to want Him to recognize and know us well! May we never hear the words from Him, “Depart from me. I do not know where you are from”. The truth is that a relationship built now, here on earth, will allow us to recline with Jesus forever at His table in the Kingdom of God. Let us count on that! Let us know Him, and love Him, and serve Him.
And may we be assured, that He is going to welcome us home, and provide a place for us, at His heavenly banquet feast!
+ May God bless us today as we strive to unite ourselves to Him, Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!