Sunday, November 16, 2008

Invest your Faith that the Kingdom may increase (Sunday homily)

What did we just hear?

A man went on a journey,
and entrusted his possessions to his servants…

The Lord Jesus is the man,
and he has entrusted care of his Kingdom to us.

This is not so much about how we use our natural gifts,
but how we use the supernatural gift of Faith.
And how readily and with how much real investment of ourselves,
we put ourselves on the line, so that his Kingdom can grow.
If you and I put your Faith out there, at risk—it will grow.
If we bury our Faith and do nothing with it, we will lose it.

And when I say, the investment of our Faith will "grow"—I mean;
we really will see other people drawn to our Catholic Faith.
But they will only be drawn, our investment will grow
only if they see our lives are really changed.

The early Christians won their world and even their persecutors
because people said, "they really do forgive their enemies";
"they really do love one another";
"they really do live as if Jesus is Lord—and he’s this close."

Our Catholic Faith, our Catholic parishes, our Catholic schools,
will grow, only if people see the same in us.

I am sorry to say, it is discouraging to me and many others,
that there remains pettiness and division
between our two Catholic parishes.

As soon as I say that, someone brings up something from the past.
You want to bury something—bury that:
all those grudges and bad memories!

What must people in this community think,
when there are Catholics
who won’t pray in each other’s churches?
Do you realize how much I have to walk on eggshells because of this?
What a waste of time and energy—mine and yours!

And, yes, I’m saying the exact same thing at both parishes.

When we talk about the investment of our faith,
putting it at risk, rather than burying it…
let me apply that, to our times, this way:
a lot of folks talk to me about fears and discouragement—
why are things the way they are?
why don’t more people come to church?
why do we have the troubles we do?

If you and I want to avoid experiencing these doubts and fears,
the only way is not only to bury our talents,
but to climb in the hole ourselves,
and pull the dirt over our heads!

Yes, it’s hard—but this is what it means
to put our Faith on the line, to put it at risk.

Remember who we are: we are Christians!
The first Twelve…one was a traitor,
the leader melted like ice on a skillet,
and the rest scattered.
The early believers were nobodies, they had nothing,
and they were hunted and arrested and killed.

In every age, the Church has had trouble—
in fact, when we thought all was well,
that usually meant we had even worse problems
that we didn’t even recognize.

So, here we are, the Year of our Lord 2008,
and we have so many problems.
We are tempted to discouragement and fear and defeat.
We are tempted to turn against one another—who is to blame?
We’re going to want to bury our faith in a hole, and figure,
it is only a matter of time before we close up shop.
I have heard the rumors—and all I can say is,
if you want them to come true—keep repeating that nonsense!

I don’t know what the future—even the next six months—will bring.
But I know this: We have Jesus Christ!
He has put everything on the line, everything at risk,
investing in us!
He believes in what we can be and what we can do,
if only we let him be in charge.

In a few moments, we will behold his Sacrifice for our sakes,
and we take part in the Eucharist,
his greatest Gift, of his own Body and Blood,
please, pray for one another—pray for me, as I do for you—
that we will realize how rich we are in what really counts,
and how much we really can do to increase his Kingdom,
to be ready for Him.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Father,
The Bible gives us ample support in times of fear and doubt.Whenever angel messengers appear, they almost always say, "Don't be afraid!" And our Lord himself said, "I will be with you always, even unto the end of the world." I have reminded Him of that a number of times. As for the naysayers, the critics, the harpies,and the fools, let us pray for them, and let us not fall victim to their small minds. The Church has endured and surmounted misfeasance, malfeasance, and non-feasance, and she will surmount all these problems, too. Suzy

Anonymous said...

I know I will be in deep hot water for saying this, but since I'm right I'll say it anyway. A great many Catholics seem to be super hyperdefensive. It's obvious that the minute there is a hint of disagreement on any issue, those on both sides of the issue will flare up and start some really vicious name-calling.

At first I thought it was human nature but after checking around in other (non-Catholic) discussions I notice that many people really do discuss the issues and positions rather than indiscriminately insulting those who disagree with them.

In my parish Catholics bash non-Catholics (who aren't even present to defend themselves!) whenever the opportunity arises, but they also bash their fellow Catholics of a nearby parish simply because they are from. . .another parish!

Can anyone explain to me what makes Catholics so testy? Is it ethnic? Traditional? What?

Annie

Anonymous said...

I know I will be in deep hot water for saying this, but since I'm right I'll say it anyway. A great many Catholics seem to be super hyperdefensive. It's obvious that the minute there is a hint of disagreement on any issue, those on both sides of the issue will flare up and start some really vicious name-calling.

At first I thought it was human nature but after checking around in other (non-Catholic) discussions I notice that many people really do discuss the issues and positions rather than indiscriminately insulting those who disagree with them.

In my parish Catholics bash non-Catholics (who aren't even present to defend themselves!) whenever the opportunity arises, but they also bash their fellow Catholics of a nearby parish simply because they are from. . .another parish!

Can anyone explain to me what makes Catholics so testy? Is it ethnic? Traditional? What?

Annie

Anonymous said...

So sorry for the double entry - the computer instructed me to re-try but I notice the first try was actually entered.
A.

Gentledove said...

But be encouraged by St. Paul's letters to the corinthians where were divisions galore. His appeal to all sides was that they should have the mind of Christ. He [St. Paul] found it vexing too.

Anonymous said...

Father, do not know if you have seen this..

http://www.fsspdvd.com/

Note free to priests...