Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Following Christ = blessings and trials: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            One of my favorite quotes from Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI is one he delivered speaking to young people; however, it applies to us allow.  He said, “Have no fear in giving everything to God.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
            Similar sentiments can be found in our first reading and Gospel.  Sirach states, “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.  For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.”  Peter, asking the reward for the disciples’ sacrifices hears Jesus’ response, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”
            When I was at The College of St. Scholastica, I heard an inspiring story about one of the Sisters.  For a special occasion, her family gave her a beautiful watch.  Since Sisters hold everything in communion—in other words, they have no private property—this Sister presented the watch to the prioress.  Mother responded to this gift, “Thank you so much for this generous gift, Sister.  Now I would like to ask you to use this watch and take care of it.”  That’s often how God works!
            I have experienced this in my own life as a priest—the more I give, the more I receive.  What seems like a sacrifice one day reaps immense benefits the next.
            Finally, I chuckle at Jesus’ promises of such rewards: “…houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life…”  It’s like Jesus snuck a reminder in about trials in the faith!  The point—committing our lives to Christ will lead to immense blessings, but also suffering.
            Let’s live our life for Jesus today and remain faithful through both blessings and hardships.

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