A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – SEPT. 23RD, 2018 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
One of the very first lessons that they should teach to absolutely anybody and everybody who works in any kind of youth ministry, is that no matter how much the kids love it, responsible adults do NOT let kids or youth or anybody use glitter. Glitter in any kind of project, goes every where! There’s not enough newspapers, or ground clothes, or tarps to collect the glitter that goes everywhere when you try to use it in a project. For several years before I was priest, I was Scout leader. And every year, we made those pinewood derby cars. And every year, there was a least one of the boys who would say, “Can I put glitter on my car?” And at first I was like, “Sure, why not?” Big mistake. That one scout got hot-rod red glitter all over the Scout room! Later on, when I did my student teaching, and you would have thought that I learned my lesson with the Scouts. I had a young girl in my history class who wanted to use glitter for project on Pocahontas. And did I say no? “No.” How can you say no to glitter on anything about Pocahontas? Sure enough, once again, every kid in that history class ended up with glitter on them somewhere, and even the teacher! This past week I opened more than a few birthday cards with glitter on them. I should have known. My desk, my bedspread, even my laptop have green, blue, and red glitter all over them from the cards. I walked around for three days with one tiny little speck of green glitter stuck my forehead. Everybody was too nice to point it out. I finally went to see my doctor this week, and he said, “Fr. Kevin, you know you have one tiny piece of green glitter stuck on your forehead, don’t you?” I was like, “No, if I knew it was there, don’t you think I would have gotten rid of it?” Glitter goes everywhere when you use it, or when you come in contact with it.
We find ourselves asking the rhetorical question, “how in the world did glitter end up there?, as we spot it on our clothing, or on a piece of furniture across the room. We know how it got there. Glitter is evil! No, but seriously, glitter ends up everywhere because that’s what glitter does, it goes everywhere! It touches everything. And if you’ve got glitter spilled all over and carried around by other hands and footsteps, you know that the only way to clean it up is God’s Own direct intervention.
Working with glitter, is a whole lot like dealing with sin. Just like our sin, glitter spills out of us in a dizzying array of temptations, and it is nearly impossible for us to clean up. Sin always seems to find its way into every possible nook and cranny of our lives. Our second reading today from the Letter of St. James is reminding us of this very thing. St. James is asking where to the wars and conflicts within us come from? He knows the answer. James is talking about sin. This whole passage is about our sin. Sin, when we choose it, come out of us and goes everywhere, and touches everything! This entire passage from James is commentary on sin, and includes a reminder that the only solution to sin in our lives, is the one prophesied in Wisdom, that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ!
It is Jesus Christ who saves us from our sin because we cannot save ourselves. Jesus tells His Disciples, who do not understand all this stuff about Him being handed over to men, that they will kill Him, and three days after His death He will rise! Jesus teaches us to order our desires and our passions in service to God and to one another. That’s the way that we are supposed to be living this life! Jesus is the perfect teacher for us in lesson on how to deal with sin, because He is fully divine and fully human in all things but sin! And yet, Jesus knows and understands our
struggles with sin. This is exactly the divine intervention by God that we need, to wipe out sin in our lives! We can be better! We can be holier! We just can’t do it without Jesus!
As far as we know, no one has ever died from an abundance of glitter. Although I do often wonder what happens when that shiny stuff does get into your lungs. The same cannot be said of sin. Sin kills and destroys the heart and the soul. We ALWAYS have a choice when it comes to sin. We can fall for the temptations and the lies of the devil. Or we can obey the commandments and live as Jesus’s plan for eternal happiness lays out for us, on our way to Heaven! The choice is ours! Let us pray today that the Grace of God that we receive in Word and in Sacrament, may sustain us all in the choices that we make, that we may seek only the good and the holy, and that our lives may reflect not the glitter of sin, but the light of Christ!
+ May God bless us and help us to serve God and one another! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… PRAY FOR US !!!*