Homily: Oct 12, 2014

AN ABBREVIATED HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 10/12/14 –  TO ACCOMMODATE AND INTRODUCE THE NEW FRUITFUL HARVEST CAMPAIGN  – SMG

+ Pax et Bonum!  Peace and Goodness to you this day!

Today, we are all invited to God’s incredible wedding Feast.  The Mass, every Mass, is a preview of that Heaven that we long for.  The banquet is ready.   The best foods have been prepared.  The music, the lights, the sounds, the whole celebration are going to be everything that we ever longed for.  You want to accept this invitation.

For nearly ten years now, we have praying together as a Parish family in this church.  In so many ways I can’t believe that it has been nearly ten years.  Did you know that most of our fourth graders were not even born when we dedicated the new church in 2004.  And so many memories for all of us, have happened right here in this building:  baptisms, weddings, funerals, first communions, confirmations, RCIA rites, confessions, school Mass, PRE Masses.  Slow Motion Masses.  Respect Life Masses.  Agapes, Discernments, Nights of Pentecosts.  We’ve brought our families here, we welcomed our friends.  We’ve made friends.  And for all that has transpired within these walls in the last 10 years, the part that nobody told us about, was how much fun is was going to be to be Church.   To build the Kingdom.  To answer God’s extraordinary invitation to be His people.  We have much to celebrate.  We are already working on the big party for Monday evening, December 8th.  Clear that night on your calendar as soon as you go home today.

My brothers and sisters, we are blessed.  And yet, we also know that the job is not done.  Not yet.  We’ve got more work, and more sacrifice ahead of us, to complete the job.  If you’ve been around here a few years, like I have, you know that it is Fall of 2014, and the Diocese is conducting their bi-annual fundraising campaign to pay our portion of the Diocese’s expenses.  And here at St. Maria Goretti, we know all too well how this works.  We are piggy-backing on the Diocese’s campaign, to raise funds to pay off our debt for our church building, and to start the seed fund for our additional growth.  There are many of us here who have been through several of these Fruitful Harvest dovetail campaigns.  We have sacrificed.  We have given.  We’ve accepted God’s invitation and challenge in our lives.  And we know how important it is for us to do it again.  The job isn’t finished.  We have accomplished miraculous things together.  But we still have more to do.

And so I am here asking for everyone’s help.  We don’t need a few people’s help.  We don’t need some of the people’s help.  We need EVERYBODY’s help.  This church belongs to all of us.  And whether you have been here for nineteen years, or you have been here for nineteen days, we all have a special responsibility to do our part, to make our sacrifice, to answer God’s call and invitation.

Sacrifice and sacrificing are not very popular in our world today.  We want it all.  And we are told that we can have it all.  So why sacrifice?  Why go without?  Why give our hard-earned money for a church?  Well, it is because real love always involves real sacrifice.  Anybody can say I love you.  Anybody can say “yes” to God.  But doesn’t it have to be more than just words?  What if the martyrs, or the great saints, or even young St. Maria Goretti, only talked about love and Faith?  It wouldn’t have gotten very far, would it now?  Now is our time to do our part.

I’d like to introduce to you, two of my favorite people here at St. Maria Goretti, Doug and Jennie Alexander.  Doug and Jennie have answered God’s call and continue to do that every day in their family.

Please welcome them to Mass today…