The homily

10 November 2019 - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Am I willing to do for my faith? Am I will to suffer ridicule for my faith? Am I willing to be formed in my faith by the Scriptures and by the Church? These are the questions that come to mind this Sunday as we read the Scripture given to instruct us in the way of the Lord Jesus.

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7 November 2019 – Thursday of week 31 in Ordinary Time

This story which Jesus uses to explain to the Pharisees why he welcomes sinners and eats with them fills me with a sense of hope and possibility. When I sin I am not outcast forever but embraced with love. The angels celebrate when I repent. This image gives me freedom to learn from my mistakes and to strive to do better. And rather than waiting until I completely pull myself together before I feel worthy of God’s love, I know that God loves me at all times and I can always rely on that love.

It is very humbling to know that God loves me when I gossip, when I forget to put God at the center of my life, when I serve my own needs and ignore the needs of others, when I focus on achievement at work at the expense of others, when I worry about money. This list goes on and on. Yet I do not want to invite a sense of despair. Repentance means reflecting upon ones actions and striving to do better.

 

6 November 2019 - Wednesday of week 31 in Ordinary Time

Jesus invites his disciples to place their trust in the Lord.

Todays’ Gospel seems hard. English translation uses the powerful word “hate” to describe the attitude of a disciple. Despite, this, the invitation here is not to push aside our loved ones. Rather, it is an invitation to place our trust ever more deeply into the Lord.

In many ways this response what St. Ignatius Loyola calls for in his Spiritual Exercises. His First Principle and Foundation reminds us that we ought to hold everything with an indifference; embrace what draws us closer to God with the courage to let go whatever does not. Likewise his prayer at the close of the retreat invites us to thank God for the graces of our lives – including our friends and families – while at the same time returning those graces to God, asking only for God’s love. That is the invitation echoed by the readings today. To embrace the joys and graces of the world, while having the freedom to let go when necessary. To trust only in God, our Light and our Salvation.

 

Monday 4 November 2019 - Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Today Saint Charles Borromeo remind us that the program by which we are to address effectively the great spiritual challenges of our time is, in the end, Jesus Christ alive for us in the Church. He explained:

The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity. This is a program which does not change with shifts of times and cultures.

“Look up your past life, go over the years of your life, place your past ways of acting before your gaze,” Borromeo said in a 1584 homily. “Inspect and rate your black spots and faults.”

May Saint Charles Borromeo be our great teacher and intercessor in pursuing the holiness of life to which we are called.

 

Sunday 3 November 2019 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

He wants to see Jesus.

We can learn several lessons from this story.

If you are like Zacchaeus, who seems pretty happy and quite successful in life, but feel deep down inside that you are missing something, then please know, that all you need is Jesus. If you will go to Him, as He passes by, He will fill that emptiness with His presence. Let us remember that without Jesus Christ, we are nothing and can do nothing. In the gospel of John (15:5) we read Jesus saying, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

We may try to fill the emptiness with all kinds of things like food, drinks, diversion, spare-time and people but as Saint Augustine says, "our heart is restless until it rests in Him because He has made us for Himself". When we do realize, that Jesus is the only hope we have, then we will go to Him. However, there are obstacles both external and internal we have to overcome.

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