A HOMILY FOR THE SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” – 7/21/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to each of you this day!
Yesterday, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first manned, landing on the moon. It was a huge event in the history of mankind. And for the 50th Anniversary, references to the Event were everywhere! Did you see the Indianapolis Star yesterday? They duplicated the front page of their paper from 50 years ago! I opened up the paper and thought, “Wow, there must not be any news today, they are re-running the big stories from the past. Then I remembered that it was the Anniversary!
We know that took a lot of work and a lot of effort, on the part of hundreds of thousands of people, to get those two astronauts to the surface of moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin may be the ones with their names in the history books, but we know that there were so many people working for years behind the scenes to make the landing on the moon of Apollo 11 happen. And there were many times, that all those people had to keep persevering in their work and in their commitment to the project, or else it never would have happened. Certainly there were set-backs and major disasters that made many want to quit and give up. The obvious one being the Apollo 1 disaster on January 27th, 1967, where Hoosier Astronaut Gus Grissom and his fellow astronauts, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee, died, during testing for the Apollo program. Sometimes, it’s really hard to persevere. Sometimes we’ve got to remember why we are doing something, in order to persevere in doing it!
Today, in our Gospel, we hear the story of Martha and Mary. Like the people who worked for NASA in the 1960’s, they were hard workers. Martha, especially, get to be forever renown as a hard worker, but also as someone who was reprimanded by our Lord, Himself, for losing sight of why she is working so hard. But even Martha’s sister, Mary, also has to persevere in her love, and in her faith, in her own work for Jesus, and even in her commitment to Him. Our Gospel today serves as a call to all of us, to stay committed to Jesus and to Jesus’ Church. This is NOT easy today in 2019, any more than it was easy for all those who worked in the space program in the 1960’s, to stay committed to the Project. Sometimes, you just have to keep your eyes and your heart firmly fixed or set, on the end goal. And keep working towards that goal, and staying committed to the goal.
This can be a particularly challenging aspect of Christianity, especially for those of us who do work hard at living out our Faith! Sometimes in our work, our volunteering, our service, our ministry to and for the Church, we can lose sight of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We can all be Marthas. And likewise, sometimes like Mary, we can forget about how much work it really takes, to keep following Jesus, and to keep doing His Will, and to keep building His Kingdom. It doesn’t just happen, folks! It is NOT automatic. There’s a lot of work on our part that must be done, to prepare ourselves for eternal life! Many have given up. They are unwilling to do the work. And they aren’t committed enough to keep trying! But WE can’t give up!
As long as we have a breath in our bodies, we want to be serving and living out our Faith, and persevering in what Jesus has asked us to do. This is a great lesson for us in the middle of summer. We don’t take vacations from our Faith. We must persevere. We must always be striving to do more and to believe more!
And this means that we keep praying, no matter what. And it means that we keep serving, and helping out, and volunteering, and doing whatever we can to build the Kingdom of God in our midst. And it means that we keep reaching out to others, especially those in need. And it means that we keep growing in the knowledge of our Faith, by educating ourselves about what we do believe as Catholics. In many ways, Martha was right! The Lord is coming and there is a whole lot to do before He gets here! And we need to get as much done as possible BEFORE He does return, or we return home to Him! My brothers and sisters, this is NOT the time to slack off! This is not the time to do less, or back out of commitments. This is not the time to take it easy. This is the time to be solidly committed to Jesus Christ, like never before! Jesus is our Salvation! He is our way home to Heaven!
We know, that in the 1960’s, NASA and all its people worked so hard to get us to the moon. It was a noble goal that too a lot of work and commitment. Today, as Catholic Christians, all of us, we don’t just want to go the moon, we want to go to Heaven! May we do everything that we can, to cooperate with God, and reach that goal! There should be nothing that we are more committed to, than that Kingdom! Let’s remember that this week!
+ May God bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!