Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023
“Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth…so shall my word be…my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”
One of the manifestations of the Word of God mentioned in our First Reading today is the Bible.
There are, first of all, 2 false extremes regarding the Bible that I would like to address.
Certainly, most non-Catholic Christians and Catholics focus on our shared belief in Jesus to work together to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, run crisis pregnancy centers and so forth…99% of non-Catholic Christians are, as we sing in the Gloria are “people of good will”
But some of you who attended the Dearborn County fair were handed this pamphlet “Roman Catholicism: Scripture vs. Tradition”. Others have had their Catholic Faith directly questioned by other pamphlets. The proper response to a non-Catholic wanting to hand you a tract against the Catholic Church is to not take the tract, but instead ask the question “Why are there 20,000 different denominations, all claiming to be based on the Bible alone?” Jesus often answered questions from the Pharisees with another question, and those attacking Catholicism deserve to be asked another question as well.
On the other extreme, some who are in positions of teaching authority in the Catholic Church are teaching things DIRECTLY contradicted by the core teachings of the Bible. We need to pray for the conversion of these teachers, that they would return to the core teachings found in the Bible.
In conclusion, what is a healthy approach to the Bible? When I was a sophomore in college, I made a commitment to read one chapter of the Gospels each day. In doing that for 5 minutes each day, God spoke to me and put on my heart something I had never even considered up to that point…as I read one chapter of the Gospels each day, I heard on my heart God calling me to be a priest.
I encourage all of us here today to read one chapter of the Gospels each day. It is amazing how God will use that 5 minutes to speak to you a specific Word of guidance and comfort in that Gospel chapter. As we hear in the first reading, the Word of God always bears fruit in the lives of those who immerse themselves in it.