16 Sun OT Yr A (2017)
Ss. Peter & Paul, Danville
Imagine with me for a moment… Imagine that we’re gathered here, like the early Church. Life is busy. And yet – when it’s time for the gathering – we rush eagerly to the place. We’ve been looking forward to it all week. Why? Because “The Way” – this new way of living, this new Truth, this Jesus Christ who was so like us and yet so different from us – has changed our life. Imagine we’re here because we’ve encountered something different in the life of faith that calls us out of dark drudgery and hamster wheel of the life that we and everyone we’ve ever known has been living.
Imagine that we’re here because we’ve encountered the Holy Spirit, felt the change in our own lives, realized that Jesus really was loving and saving us somehow, supernaturally, through the sacraments, through our prayer. Imagine we’re here because we know, we believe that Jesus wants to save us – and wants to save the world. And imagine we’re here because we know He wants to save the world – and that the only thing that stands between salvation and damnation for every soul in Danville is our fruitfulness as joyful missionary disciples, empowered by the Eucharist, sanctified by the sacraments, and motivated by the mission Jesus has given to us to go, teach, and baptize.
And not just our families, our children, our friends – not just us, but all families, all children, all the people we live and work and study and play with – imagine that you and I are the only seed that has been sown in this time and place for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Gospel right here where we are. And imagine that whether we become wheat or weed – imagine that our own salvation depends in part on how we prioritize our faith, how we let our lives be changed to love and be loved by God and allow ourselves to be instruments of His salvation to those outside these walls.
What would your life look like?
What would be added to your days and weeks? What would be subtracted?
How would your life be different?
I had a different homily planned for this week, but then I saw this quote from Robert Cardinal Sarah: “While Christians are dying for their faith and fidelity to Jesus, in the West people of the Church are trying to reduce the requirements of the Gospel to a minimum.” It hit me…he’s right. But what if… What if we were different. What if instead of trying to lower the bar – for ourselves and everyone else – what if we began to work together, all day, every day, to make the bar clearer and help everyone over it! What if Jesus was right?
He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
What if it is true? Not an image – not an ideal – some a story…what if is true? How would your life be different? What’s holding you back? How can I help you make those changes? How can others help you in living this reality? How can you help others find their salvation, faith, and joy in Jesus Christ?
How can we truly become a family of joyful missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Eucharist, sanctified by the sacraments, and motivated by the mission Jesus has entrusted to us?