A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- CYCLE ”B”- 9/20/15– SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
What exactly does it mean to be the Greatest? I think that this is a conversation that we need to have real soon as a culture and as a society. And why is it so important for us as human beings to be so much better than anybody else? You know, Muhammad Ali, was a street kid from Louisville, Kentucky, who became a champion boxer. And he even called himself “The Greatest”. Is that greatness? Is that all that it takes? And if we could all just put on the boxing gloves, and beat up everybody else, then, would we be the Greatest? Or what about this Donald Trump guy? Donald Trump says that he is our greatest candidate to be the next President of the United States. And apparently, according to the polls, a lot of people are in agreement with him. Is Donald Trump great? Does all that it take to be great in some people’s eyes, is to make a lot of money? Or own a lot of real estate? Or fire people on a fake TV show? Kanye West, the rapper/singer, thinks he is pretty great. He is married to Kim Kardashian, who also thinks that she is pretty great. Can you imagine the stimulating conversations that those two must have together? Kanye and Kim think that there’s nobody more talented, or more beautiful, or more exciting than the two of them. Can you believe that? It’s like they fell and hit their heads, or something, and that they actually believe what their idiot publicists say about them. Is that greatness? Do we all need to hire a publicist to feel great?
No, this is messed up. This isn’t greatness. This isn’t even close to greatness. And if anyone of those four people had an ounce of true greatness in them, they would realize this. And perhaps, Muhammad Ali in his old age, and with his medical condition, has already realized this. But the world that we live in today has no problem going right along with crazy people who think that they are great. And we get bombarded with it! It’s on TV, and on the internet, and in the newspapers. And if fame, or even notoriety, is equal to greatness, then what kind of message does that send to all the rest of us? Most especially, what kind of message does that send to our young people? Is it any wonder then, that we have people killing people, or setting off bombs, or doing other horrendous things, just to become famous, because some where in their sick minds, they believe the lie that famous is greatness.
This is a good time to have a conversation about greatness. Because in our Gospel today, that’s exactly what the Apostles are talking about, as they walk along. I find it interesting, that Jesus tells them that He is going to suffer and die, and they don’t understand and are afraid to talk about it. So what do they do? They start arguing over which one of them is the greatest. And this is where Jesus gives us one of the greatest truths of this life, when He says “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” That’s a quote from Jesus that is worth remembering for all of us! It is also a quote that I am sure we are going to hear Pope Francis bring up this week, as he comes to the United States.
Guys, let’s get this right, it is NOT about power, or strength, or money, or popularity, or fame. Those things don’t last. I promise you, in hundred years from now, nobody will even know who Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were. What lasts is the good that we do! The greatest, according to Jesus, do put everybody else before them. They work to serve and take care of everybody else. Their first concern is NOT themselves, but everybody else. That’s the real way to greatness! And if you truly want to find greatness, then I suggest that you look at your parents, or your grandparents, or look at those serving in the military, or look at those teaching in our schools, or look at those serving the poor and the sick. Those are noble efforts! Those are heroic activities that make our world and our society a better place to live. Those also are exactly the way that Jesus called His follower to live. The Apostles must have missed that message at first. Let’s make sure that we don’t miss that message today!
May we trust God enough to know that He has a better way for us! And this week may we truly live putting others before ourselves, and serving all our brothers and sisters!
+ May God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…. AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!