Sunday, September 05, 2010

'What's it going to cost me?' (Sunday homily)

“What’s it going to cost me?”
No matter who we are, or how old we are,
we understand that.

When I was a boy, and Dad was paying,
we didn’t ask what it cost.
Mom would give us a not-too-subtle “hint”
so that we said, “Thank you dad!”

When I got older, and I asked for something,
My dad would say, “OK; it’s coming out of your allowance!”
That’s when I began asking, “What’s it going to cost me?”
I started looking at price tags—and more than that,
I thought hard about whether I wanted it at all.

When God saw the mess humanity got into—
the mess we call sin—
God asked: “What’s it going to cost Me?”

Did you know God could have gotten a bargain?
St. Thomas Aquinas tells us
that a scratch on Jesus’ finger:
just one drop of blood—
would have paid it all.
That would have been a bargain,
compared with what Our Lord did pay!

What does that tell you—about God?
About you and me in his eyes?
What does that suggest
about what God really thinks about sin?

When you buy a new car, how do you react
when you see that first scratch or dent?

How does God react to the sins
we disfigure ourselves with,
in light of how valuable our salvation is to him?

If you go to Paris or Rome,
to Washington, or Dayton Ohio,
you can see some beautiful works of art.
When I was in Rome, I saw some paintings
that just took my breath away, they were so astonishing.

Picture one of those works of art;
imagine it belongs to you: it’s yours;
and you go to look at it…and there’s a mark:
someone scrawled graffiti on Michelangelo’s David!
Someone stabbed a knife into the Mona Lisa!

Would you say, “It’s not so bad”? “I can live with it”?

This is why it’s essential we to examine ourselves;
And why we need to go to confession frequently.

We’re not a rusty old Chevy for hauling junk;
You and I and every human being are God’s masterpiece—
He paid a king’s ransom for us—
and it’s natural that he would want to scrub away
every sin that disfigures us.

The funny thing is, so often people push God away,
because they think God cramps their freedom.
But it is God who has to work so hard to convince us
Of how much we’re worth; how important we are.

God asked, “what will it cost me?”

So we might ask Him the same question:
“What’s it going to cost me?
To be with you, Jesus—
What’s it going to cost me?”

“Cost you?” Jesus tells us.
“It will cost you everything!
See that cross?
That’s where I’m going.
Grab the other end of the Cross—
If you want to walk with me.”

“But Jesus, I’ve got all this stuff…”

“You have to let it go.”

“Everything, Jesus?”


“What’s going to happen to it all, Jesus?”

“Give it to me. I’ll take care of it.”

“My plans? My family?”

“Everything. Give it to me.
If you want to follow me, that’s what it costs.”

“What about my problems?”

“Give them to me.”

“What about my sins, Jesus?
You don’t want them!”

“Give them to me.
When we get where we’re going,
We’ll nail them to this Cross.
And you’ll be free.

That’s the price if you want to go with me.”


Teresa said...

That was an excellent homily. I have always had sort of an adversion to Confession so I don't go nearly as often as I should. I don't know why. Yes, God died for all of our sins. I guess you could say we need a good spiritual cleaning or renewal and Confession does just that. God Bless!

John Mc said...

Hi Father. Stumbled across your blog ... glad to see is well. Keep the faith!!


John McCardell

Fr Martin Fox said...

Hi John!

Good to see you too, in a manner of speaking!

Stephanie said...

I just found this blog and I enjoyed reading this homily. I've never thought about the way God might regard our sins as a blemish on something beautiful of his. It's so easy to think of everything, even when trying to be repentant, in terms of ourselves, i.e. what my sin means for me. But that amounts to feeling bad about sin for myself, which is itself self-centered if it doesn't involve God as it should. I guess if being oriented towards God is part and parcel of being human (I just started grad school this fall and we're reading Rahner) then repentance can't be merely a psychological talking-to oneself, but has to tap into that revelatory communication which is being being human in God. I really need to think about this stuff, because I've always worried too much about what it (whatever action, decision, thought) would cost me (alone) and not enough about what it would cost me (as something of God's.) Thanks for the homily.