A HOMILY FOR THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 6/28/20 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Most of us, have become quite good at making decisions. We use our heads, we use our knowledge, we use logic, to make the right choice. Most of the time. And when to make a good decision, we use two basic questions: First, is it good for us? Is it the right thing to do? Are there good reasons for us doing something, or getting something? Is the right thing to do? And the second question is what are the costs? What is it going to mean for us, what are the ramifications, of us doing something, or acquiring something? And is it worth it? Are the costs associated with something, worth the good that we hope to achieve? Two important things to know every time we make a decision.
For example, you’re walking down the street on a warm day. It’s about three o’clock in the afternoon. You’re a couple of hours away from lunch. And it’s still at least a couple of hours away from dinner. And you walk past an ice cream parlor. Now, time for the first question. Is it a good thing, a good decision, to stop in the ice cream parlor and get an ice cream cone? There’s a lot to consider. It is hot outside. So the ice cream will help you to cool off. It’s after lunch, so you could consider it the ice cream cone dessert. Or it is far enough ahead of dinner that you could, possibly, consider the ice cream, an appetizer. You’re walking down the street, so you are getting some exercise and burning some calories. And, if you need a final argument to convince you, the one thing that most people say, on their deathbed, that they had done more of, in this life, is that they wished they had eaten more ice cream! It’s true. So, we’re going to say, it’s a good decision. It’s the right thing to do. Now, for the second question, what is it going to cost you? And what are the ramifications of getting an ice cream cone? Well, you are going to have to eat it right away. It’s not like you can put whatever you don’t eat in your backpack for later. And it is going to cost you something. Most ice cream parlors don’t give ice cream cones away. So you’re going to need a couple dollars, maybe more if you’re going to one of those fancy ice cream places. You know, it used to be that you could tell a fancy ice cream place, because the cone came wrapped in a paper wrapper. I gotta feeling that after the Coronavirus, all ice cream cones are going to come in a paper wrapper. Maybe they’ll come in a plastic bag. So, you’ve made a good decision, you’ve paid the price, and then you enjoy your ice cream cone on a nice summer’s day. Don’t you wish all decisions were that easy?
Today, we come to Mass, and Jesus in the Gospel and both of our other readings, are talking to us about make a good decision to be Jesus’ disciple, about making a real commitment to our Faith.
Before sending the Apostles out to preach, Jesus reminds them that it’s not always going to be easy and that not everyone is going to be accepting of their message. And even so, Jesus is also telling them not to be afraid of whatever might happen. He reminds them of the cross. Jesus is being very candid here, very honest. He wants all Christians to know what they are getting into. And He promises them, and us, His care and His love always as we work for Him.
Jesus is calling His followers, all of us, to be committed, to be “all in” in our response to His call. This makes perfect sense. Once we make the decision to follow Jesus, and to be a member of His Church, it needs to become one of the most important things that we are doing with our lives! We invest our whole selves in this Christian life. And Jesus tell us, that if we all invest ourselves in our relationship with Him, that we all receive a prophet’s reward. Eternal life, Heaven, the Beatific Vision forever, no pain, no sickness, no death, forever. It sounds great. Who wouldn’t want what Jesus is offering? So our decision to follow Christ gives meaning to everything else that we do! It is supposed to be the foundation of our lives! But we must choose it! God will never force us, or make us be His followers, or have Faith! But it is so worth it. A good decision!
In our first reading today from Second Kings, we hear of the beautiful reward that is given to this woman who helped the Prophet Elisha. Her generosity, her good decision, did not go unnoticed! And she is rewarded with her heart’s desire, a child! In our second reading, St. Paul is reminding us, that by our Baptisms, we are called to serve God and be like Jesus. And yes, that means, that, just like Jesus, we pick up our crosses and follow Him. It is at the very heart of the Christian message. And what’s the good news? That just like with Jesus, there’s always Resurrection! There’s never a cross without Resurrection. Even the toughest part of being a Christian, especially being a Catholic Christian, comes with the guarantee that God will take care of us, no matter what.
And so, this weekend, we are all being challenged to seriously think about our decision to follow Jesus and how we’re doing at accepting His call in our lives. May we make a good decision and may we be willing to pay whatever price we need to, to be Faithful to Him!
It’s a good decision to have an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. And it’s an even better to decision to live the Christian life, no matter what the costs!
+ May God bless us and help us to stay committed, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!!!