Homily for the 22nd Sunday
in Ordinary Time, Year B, August 28th/29th, 2021
that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans
and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor
honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside
where he is cold and naked.
learn to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honored finds greatest
pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Give him the honor prescribed in his law by
giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden
in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding
that along with such gifts and before them you give alms.”
Here I, Fr.
Hollowell, want to clarify in case it isn’t clear what St. John is saying. He is saying it is okay to fix up your churches
nicely, as long as you first take care of the poor. I would like to say that I believe both of
our parishes have done things in the proper order. My first priority as pastor has been, at both
parishes, to first take care of the poor.
We got St. Vincent DePaul Societies started at each parish, who I might
add, are doing TREMENDOUS UNFATHOMABLY AWESOME ministry in our
communities. We did that first, before
ever embarking on any capital campaign or Church restoration. And, quite frankly, I believe our campaigns
have been miraculously successful precisely for one reason: we have put the
ends: “Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; but
no one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who
neglect their neighbor a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment
in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore
your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.”
personally put in my will that whatever is leftover after my funeral will be
going to start an endowment to assist the poor of Clay County, as we just used
a generous bequest from Gwendoline Long to start a similar endowment for the
poor of Putnam County. I have also made
$5,000 a year commitment for both Churches’ restoration projects.
conclusion, to echo St. James and St. John Chrysostom, take care of the poor
first, then God will bless all your other endeavors.