Homily — 28th Sun. OT A October 12, 2008

Homily — 28th Sun. OT A October 12, 2008

This Sunday, the Church gives us an appropriate second reading from St. Paul.

Paul says I know how to live in humble circumstances; I also know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.
St. Paul, being a tent maker by trade, had times when business was good and other times when it wasn’t so good. At times, both his tent making business and his work as Apostle to the Gentiles were both doing miserably as people rejected both his tents and the Gospel. But even in times of great financial hardship, St. Paul didn’t get worried, because he knew the secret.

The secret St. Paul knew was knowing Jesus Christ. And if we as individuals and as a society have Jesus, we are gloriously rich, no matter what the economy is doing. But if we as individuals and as a society don’t have Jesus, we are pitifully poor, no matter how financially well off we are.

This current economic crisis is an opportunity for us as individuals and as a society to draw near to Christ. This Sunday’s Psalm is the famous Psalm 23, the Lord is my Shepherd. We all know the Psalm, but how much do we really live it?

Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil.
You are at my side with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

Surely our country is at present lost in a dark and scary valley of economic crisis, a dark valley we don’t know the way out of. And it could be that in the week’s (months? years?) to come, we will descend lower and lower into this dark and scary valley.

Do we, like the Psalmist, fear no evil as we descend into this dark valley? Are we keeping Jesus the Good Shepherd at our side, with the Rod and Staff of His commandments and Holy Cross to encourage us?

Whatever the future holds, God will get us through it, so long as we let Christ be our Good Shepherd.

And maybe some of us, maybe our country needs to take this crisis as a wake up call. In today’s parable we see people who were so concerned with earthly things, with business matters, with real estate problems, that they ignored their King’s summons to be present at the wedding of the King’s Son. Notice how Jesus ends this parable: with the King destroying these people’s city.

And certainly over the past few years, our society has been very much like those people in the parable — ignoring God’s call to live a life of faith, to practice their religion, to be present every Sunday at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the Holy Eucharist.

May this shake up bring our nation back to the glorious riches of a life in Christ.

Finally, we see in the second part of the parable a man at the wedding feast who neglected to clothe himself in a wedding garment fitting for such a great occasion. Jesus isn’t so much trying to establish a dress code for Sunday Mass as He is teaching us we must be clothed in the graces given to us at our baptism.

We must be clothed in the Faith of Christ, believing and walking by the light of our Catholic faith;

We must be clothed in the Hope of Christ, the Hope that our sins are forgiven, that God’s grace will always be their to help us, and that Heaven awaits us if we are faithful;

and finally, one who is rich in Christ must be clothed in the Charity of Christ, must have a love for God above all things and a love for our neighbor, especially the weakest and most vulnerable around us.

During this Respect Life month, we are mindful especially of the charity we should have for the innocent humans whose lives are destroyed daily by abortion in our country at a rate of over 3500 a day, a million a year, 90% of whom pose no threat at all to the life or health of the mother.

As the little “Pro Life across America” poster we have in the sanctuary says “Our Hearts were beating 18 days (after conception).” May we, in this time of economic crisis, not forget the greatest moral crisis our country currently faces; may we do all we can to protect all innocent beating hearts from harm.

And so as we partake of this Eucharist, which mystically unites us here on earth to the Wedding Feast going on Heaven between Jesus the Lamb and His Bride the Church, may Christ clothe us with holiness and teach us the secret St. Paul knew of living in accord with God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

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