Sunday, November 08, 2015

Jesus calls you. What will you answer? (Sunday homily)

The Gospel we just heard poses a very simple question, 
but it cuts deep, right to our very core: 
how much are you and I willing to give to Jesus Christ?

It’s not necessarily a matter of money. 
The widow in the Gospel didn’t just give a donation. 
As Jesus said, she gave everything she had to live on. 
She put everything on the line.

How much will we put on the line?

Blessed John Newman, the great English protestant 
who became Catholic, gave a sermon one time 
in which he posed a similar question. 
He asked whether we are really putting anything at risk for our faith. 
And he made the point that quite a lot of us 
probably would make most of the same decisions, 
whether we believe in Jesus Christ or not. 
We would probably have the same job, the same life, and so forth.

I think that is more true than it is comfortable to admit.

At the end of Mass, you’re going to hear a few words 
from Marty Arlinghaus, who is a seminarian 
for our Archdiocese from Clifton, in Cincinnati. 
He’s putting his life on the line. 
If he becomes a priest, his life will be rather different 
from what otherwise it might have.

He wouldn’t be doing that if he didn’t believe in Jesus Christ. 
I wouldn’t have done it.

And I know many of our parents 
have rejected contraception, 
and made sacrifices in welcoming more children 
because they want to share the life of Christ, 
eternal life, with their children. 
They are thinking not only of this world, but the world to come.

I am confident there are a lot of stories that could be told – 
but we don’t tell the stories – 
about making a sacrifice, forgiving a wrong, taking the harder path, 
because of the words of Christ and for love of him.

Still, there’s that widow. Not a rich person. A poor widow. 
She gave not just something, but everything she had.

At this moment, I really think I’m in the way; 
I’m in the middle of a conversation 
which is really between each of us, and Jesus himself. 
He’s the one who makes the invitation.
He is the one who calls us: 
come, follow me – and Peter and Andrew, James and John 
left their nets; their livelihood; everything they had.

Jesus calls you. 
Your Creator and Redeemer speaks to you as only he can. 
He has prepared your life and given you your gifts. 
What will you answer?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a long-time protestant who became a Catholic in 2004, I have heard many "altar calls." Yours is by far the best I've ever seen. May our Lord use it to enlarge the priesthood and further His Kingdom. Thank you for all that you do, day in and day out, to honor Him, and to be an example to all who are seeking the will of God. ~ Rosemary A. in Hamilton, Ohio