Homily September 28th, 2023

Thursday of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time – Odd Years – Lk 9:7-9

            Today’s readings teach us a lesson about being resolute in our dedication to God’s service. The people of Israel keep saying: “The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” But, in reply, God says: “Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,

while this house lies in ruins? Consider your ways! . . . Consider your ways! Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the LORD.” These words remind us that merely human accomplishments, simply human “treasures,” all pass away. What really matters is to do things that are great for God, for the eternal reward and to store up treasure in heaven. Sometimes, even as Catholics and especially as religious, we’re content to receive human rewards for our labors, or work simply to please others or be acknowledged. However, such work isn’t what we’re called to do: what we’re called to do is to build the Kingdom of Heaven.

            Likewise, in the Gospel we’re told that Herod “kept trying to see Jesus.” More literally, Herod “desired” or “sought” to see Christ. Such a meeting would’ve been easy enough to arrange; in fact, the vast crowds had no problem getting to see Jesus. Luke says that Herod wanted to see the Christ, but clearly he didn’t want to see Him badly enough to leave the palace and seek Him out.

             The message can be applied to our lives: in a particular way as religious, but even just as committed Catholics who have made the decision to really follow Christ, we’ve come out of the world, some of us only a short while ago, and we’re here where God wants us. However, we have a choice: we can either give ourselves entirely to His service, or only partially. We can surrender ourselves, heart, mind, and soul to Him, or we can only give Him part.

            The Imitation of Christ warns us: “Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil.” However, the author continues, saying, “But if you give yourself to fervor, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.” If you give yourselves entirely to God’s service, you will find peace and less difficulty, because you will have grace and virtue. This is exactly what Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta said: “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.”

Today, we ask, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of All Saints, for the grace to give ourselves entirely to God’s service, and thus become saints ourselves.



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