HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-CYCLE “B”- 9/13/15-SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
This summer has been an especially bad one for individuals getting in trouble, and making much bigger trouble for the organizations that they belong to. There’s no doubt, that certainly by this time, that Subway Restaurants wish that they had never heard of Jared Fogle. Jared had helped Subway grow and become very popular in the 1990’s. And yet, that all came crashing down this summer after his arrest as a child predator. All lovers of the Confederate Flag, from Civil War re-enactors to NASCAR fans, to the South Carolina State Capital building, got away with still flying the Confederate Flag, that is up until Dylann Roof walked into The Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and shot nine people dead this past June. Multiple photos of Dylann Roof with the Confederate flag before hand, doomed the acceptance of the flag. Suddenly the Confederate flag wasn’t just a piece of our history, but on June 17th, 2015 it re-entered history as a symbol of hatred and murder. And finally, the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, has much the same problem with EPA supervisor Hays Griswold, who was present on August 5th, when the EPA drilled into the abandoned Gold King mine at Silverton, Colorado. The EPA and its own people, which of course are supposed to protect us from such happenings, triggered a cascade of yellow-orange sludge roaring through several rivers in three different states. And the EPA’s own people caused it! Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies!
We’ve got to be very honest about the Catholic Church. For two-thousand years, individuals have done great damage to the Church by not living up to Christ’s calling. From Judas two-thousand years ago, right on up to today and bad priests bringing scandal to the entire Church, our not following Christ has done the greatest damage to the Church! Christians themselves have done so much more damage to the Church than any of the persecutions that we have gone through! It’s true. We really are our own worst enemies! Most especially, when we say one thing with our lips, and we do another thing with our lives, others are going to notice it. It is called being hypocritical. And perhaps the last great sin of our morally bankrupt culture is hypocrisy. The world can’t stand hypocrisy. Murder, stealing, infidelity, torture, kidnapping, and so many others the world doesn’t have a problem with. But let them catch just one Christian being a hypocrite, and it is on the front page of the newspaper. And if they are a Catholic Christian, it is all the better!
Jesus has enough people saying nice things. Just look at all those people talking on TV on those Christian show and religious channels. Today, everybody wants to talk about Christianity. You can only talk about Christianity for so long, and then you have to get around to doing it. And if it is not lived out, if it is only a game or a show, eventually we’re going to be called on it. Our Faith has got to be real and has got to be lived out in our daily lives.
We just heard Jesus ask the Apostles, “Who do YOU say that I am?” What if Jesus asked us that question today? Would our answer only be nice words? You know, anybody can say nice words. Anybody can profess to be a Christian. Anybody can go through the motions. Anybody can put a license plate or bumper sticker on their car. Anybody can carry a Bible around or wear a cross around their neck. What’s it going to take for us to really live out our Catholic Christianity? Not just on Sundays, not just when we’re in church, not just when our parents or godparents are around, but ALL the time!
And each one of us can make a big difference either way. We can make a huge difference living out our Faith and being Christ for our world today. Look at the difference that the Saints made, and how many people they inspired to be like them! Or we can be a hypocrite, and a bad example, and we can be that reason that people don’t like Christians, or don’t like Catholics, or don’t like organized religion. The choice is up to us each and every day.
Let’s just make sure that if we say that we want our world to be better, and we say that we want our country to be better, and we say that we want our church to be better, that we are willing to start out by making ourselves better first. Christ wants to change our hearts and our lives. And that’s only going to happen, IF we let Him!
+ God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!