Saturday, November 4, 2023

Homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


In our first reading today the prophet Malachi warns the priests, saying “Listen, O priests, you have turned aside from the way and have caused many to falter by your instruction.”

In our own day as well, we still see lots of priests leading people astray by their instruction.  And those priests and bishops and Church leaders, if they do not repent, risk the fires of Hell.


Saint Paul, on the other hand, provides the Thessalonians a great summation of HIS approach, and it needs to be the same approach for all of us in this Church today.


St. Paul says this: “We were determined not only to share the Gospel with you, but even our very selves”  That is beautiful! 


First of all, St. Paul says he shared the Gospel with the Thessalonians…and sharing the Gospel can be pretty simple and straight forward…humanity sinned, God became a human person in order to rescue us, and now, through baptism and life in the Catholic Church, we had the gift of finding great joy in this life and in the life to come by following Christ who said “I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly!”  That is a beautiful invitation.


But that second part that saint Paul says is also critical…Saint Paul also tells the Thessalonians “Not only did we share the Gospel with you, we shared OUR VERY SELVES…” and that is really profound…he says he gave himself completely and wanted to be their friend.


All of us here this morning know one person that we can first of all demonstrate how much we love them by sharing our very self with that person…someone who is not here right now…I want you to think of that person, and make a resolution…I will be the best friend I can be to that person…radical friendship makes sharing the good news of the Gospel and the Catholic Church more fruitful…

Some of us fall more deeply in love with the Catholic, or even convert, by reading the Church Fathers and other saints, some of us are drawn to the Catholic because of the beauty of the Mass, the music, the beauty of the Church buildings, the incense…but all of us desire friendship as well and there are lots of people in our world today who have no one to be a friend to them. 

So please, go out and be a friend to someone, share yourself with that person, and in that process, you can that person and yourself becomes saints.

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