Sunday, September 10, 2023

"Where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them" Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


“Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them"


Last night, I was sitting in Saint Lawrence Church praying, and the Devil was trying to discourage me with all these things going on in the world and the Church….and I just was leafing through the book that all priests and religious vow to pray from 5 times a day, and eventually I came across a beautiful passage from St. John Chrysostom, the best preacher of all time…and he wrote this about 1700 years ago…and it spoke to me so clearly with that spirit of discouragement and dismay that the Devil always wants us to experience, and so in case any of you at this Mass are being assaulted by Demonic spirits of discouragement, I share some of St. John Chrysostom’s words:


“I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth, I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.  I concentrate, therefore, on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.”

I have talked before about how it is so important for all of us to be present, in every moment, to those around us.  The Devil wants us worrying about the future, our past, he also tells us lies about ourselves in the present, and the best way fight back against these attacks is to be present to the current moment and to be present to those around you.


St. John Chrysostom goes on: “Do you not hear the Lord saying “where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name there am I in their midst?  Will Jesus be absent then, when so many people united in love are gathered together?”

There are so many people here at this Mass, and we are here because we are striving to be saints, striving to get to Heaven.  That is what I focus on…those who are here at this specific Mass.


Pope Francis has said his favorite novel is “Lord of the World” and it is a novel about the antichrist.  The antichrist has killed all the other Catholics except for 2, and so even in that novel, when 2 are gathered in Christ’s name, Christ is there.  Christ promises each of us who keep the Commandments of His Catholic Church that “I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”


We here at this Mass have many reasons for discouragement and despair, but let us hold fast to Christ’s promise in tonight’s Gospel “That where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

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