Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sharing the Gift of Salvation (Sunday homily)

In the second reading,
St. Paul teaches about sin and salvation:
“Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned”

This is what we mean by Original Sin—
And it’s why baptism is so important,
Because baptism gives the new life of Christ to a person,
Washing away the transgression
and healing what divides us from God.

The natural question of course is, then—
what about people who are never baptized?

For those who never have the opportunity,
we trust that Christ watches out for them.
Paul said: “the gift is not like the transgression”—
Salvation is a gift—one that Jesus Christ wants to give all of us.

Our late Holy Father John Paul spoke about babies that weren’t baptized,
And he said we trust the mercy of God to embrace them.

In the meantime, you and I make sure everyone has the opportunity.
Don’t wait to bring a child for baptism, don’t put it off;
and share the gift of salvation by telling people about the Lord.

Maybe you would like some ideas on how to share the gift?

One way is simply to bring people along.
We have youth activities all the time…bring someone along.
Vacation Bible School is coming…bring some neighborhood children along.
Bring people to the Bible Study I have every Wednesday.

Bring people to the festival, and show them around the church and the chapel.
Let them know there’s a place of refuge where they can come.

The Lord said, “don’t be afraid”...yet we often are—
we don’t know how to share our Faith.

Very soon, there will be a women’s weekend Cursillo—
“cursillo” means a short course in our Faith.
I made a weekend cursillo a couple of years ago
and found it very meaningful.
Many of our parishioners have done the same,
and it strengthened their Faith.
It helped them know their Faith
so they could be more confident in sharing the Faith.

If you’re interested in a women’s or men’s Cursillo,
call the office and we’ll get you connected.

In the first reading, the Prophet Jeremiah
talked about “rescuing the life of the poor”
—that is part of our mission.

We are rightly proud of our schoolchildren,
led by their principal and teachers and parents,
raised almost $12,000 to help people in Haiti.
A group of our folks, led by our Sisters of Charity,
went to Haiti and helped build a house for a family.

But we can simply go a few blocks to South Street, to the Bethany Center
and the Piqua Compassion Network.
Bethany needs volunteers, a few hours a week,
to serve food, sort clothing, to be a light of Christ to those who are beaten down.

The Piqua Compassion Network is a clearing-house
connecting people with many forms of help.
but we need someone to answer the phone when it rings.

A lot of folks are told they aren’t worth anything.
Someone has to tell them, “Do not be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows.”

The power to do these things only comes from the Lord.
Here at Mass is where Jesus pours out
the Gift of Salvation for the many.

What happened on the Cross happens here on the altar.
That power is what we receive in the Eucharist.
Power to overcome fear and to proclaim from the housetops that He is Lord!
Power to help him rescue the life of the poor.

3 comments:

Mark Daniels said...

Someone said that in framing a good sermon, the preacher answers two questions:

What do I want them to know?

What do I want them to do?

This is a good sermon.

Pastor Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels said...

An addendum...

Those questions should more properly, I think, be:

What does God want them to know?

What does God want them to do?

This is still a good sermon.

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