Homily: Sept 7, 2014

A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- CYCLE”A”-9/7/14 – SMG

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

One thing that is really a lot of fun to watch, is a basketball game when the team is really playing well together.  It doesn’t matter whether it is Pro, or college, or high school, or even grade school, when a basketball team is playing well together, it is entertaining.  You don’t even have to like basketball, to admit that.  And don’t we know that here in our area with the Pacer’s.   When the Pacer’s had Reggie Miller and crew, and when they would really play together as a team, it was magical.  Banker’s Life Fieldhouse would be sold out.  And everybody would want to watch the Pacer’s on TV.  And what’s also true, is when the Pacer’s didn’t play so well together, when they didn’t play together as team, it was oftentimes painful to watch, most especially in the play-offs.  There certainly have been many times in the last few years, where the Pacer’s looked like five guys on a court just shooting at the basket.  It wasn’t fun.  It wasn’t entertaining.  They weren’t playing together and working with one another.  And it showed, usually in the final score.  I think that one of the reasons why my favorite team to watch play basketball is Harlem Globetrotters.  Have you ever seen those guys?  I’ve seen them twice live.  It was a blast.  They are amazing.  And it know it is all rehearsed, and I know it is all choreographed, and I know they are not playing real NBA games, but man, it is a fun show.  If only we could the Pacer’s to always play so well together.

We come to Mass today, and our Gospel talks to us about how important it is to play well together as Church.  You know, the Church is God’s team in the world.  We are to work together to build the Kingdom of God and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And just like the Pacer’s and so many other teams, it is not always easy to work together, it is not always easy to be a team.  It takes a lot of humility.  It takes a lot of cooperation.  It takes a lot of practice and communication.  But when we do it, the payoff is incredible!  Great things happen when we work together as a team, as a Church!

The Gospel first addresses the issue of conflicts.  Now we all know about conflicts.  We know what happens when conflicts go unresolved.  They create divisions.  And when you have divisions, then you are threatening the very foundation of the team.  Look at the Beatles!  Look at Guns and Roses!  Look at Diana Ross and the Supremes.  If you can’t be a music group with divisions, how in the world would we ever expect to be a Church with divisions.  Today in St. Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is showing us how to work out our problems and stay connected together.  And what’s the secret to beating divisions, it is working together as Church, as God’s people.  There aren’t supposed to be three-hundred thousand denominations of Christians in the United States alone, there is supposed to be One Church.  And that Church is supposed to work towards ending divisions and restoring unity.  The team today is hurting.  And it is only by healing up past divisions, that we are going to get stronger and go back to being what God needs us to be.

Secondly, Jesus reminds us today of how important the prayer of the Church is.  He says, where two or three are gathered together, there He will be in the midst of them.  Two or three?  Just try to imagine how present Jesus is to us right now, because we’ve got a lot more here at Mass today than just two or three.  Jesus is all over us here right now, today!  My brothers and sisters, we are in this together.  Church is extremely important.  We need one another.  We need to work together as a team.  We need everybody’s talents, and gifts, and ideas.  We need to be one in heart, in mind, and as the Body of Christ!

This is the perfect Gospel for this weekend’s Ministry Fair!  Sometimes, being Church is the most important thing.  We can’t do that on the sidelines.  We can’t do that just sitting there and watching.  We can’t do that at home by ourselves, cut off from the community and most especially, cut off from the Mass.

Stop by the Ministry Fair after Mass today. We need you.  And you need to get involved.  And isn’t that exactly what Jesus is talking to us about today when He talks about Church.

Let’s work together as a great team!  Let’s get everybody involved!  And let’s do what we can, to make our world a better place!

+  May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                     AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                Pray for us !!!