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Weekend Homilies
A listing of recent homilies delivered at my parish.
Una lista de homilías recientes entregadas en mi parroquia.
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  • Pub Date: Sep 18, 2021
  • 09-19-2021 - 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    Wisdom 2:13-16 - the skipped verses
    He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the righteous and boasts that God is his Father.
    These verses that are not listed in our reading for this weekend. In my way of thinking, they are a great example of the condition of our society today. Everyone is polarized against someone. The biggest problem with that is that everyone thinks they are right! How do you tell the difference? How do you tell when truth is being compromised or, worse, ignored?
    Take for example fighting that is going on over the Latin Mass. There are people that do not like either one form or the other and some of them are very adamant about which is right. There are those who claim that any Mass that is not done in Latin and by the old way of doing it is not a true Mass. By their understanding, the last thirty-eight years of my life have been wasted!
    On the other side there are people who cannot stand the idea of going to “one of those Masses”. They even go so far as to say that people who prefer a Latin Mass, just because they prefer it, are going against everything since the Second Vatican Council.
    Where is the right balance? Let me give you a little more perspective. Depending on who you talk to, there are anywhere from seven to over twenty different ways that the Mass can be prayed. All of them are considered a legitimate form of the Mass within the Catholic Church. I know, this can be very confusing. And when people begin to fight over which is the right way, it becomes very destructive of the unity that Christ wants in the church.
    I do have to say however that there are people who seem to deliberately go against the truth and the training of the faith. These people are spiritually dangerous, and some of them are or have been priests. There has been a lot of deception being thrown around as though it was proper teaching over the last number of decades. This happens on the liberal side and the conservative.
    I know this is not just in the church. Stepping outside of the church and into the culture around us you have all of the problems of “critical race theory” – which is in reality a type of racism where anyone who is white is considered bad because of their race. I understand I am probably oversimplifying this. But these types of ideas are in our culture.
    You can move on to the difficulty of gender dysphoria and the way it is been pushed in our culture so far as to legalize an insistence that a man be called a woman or a woman a man. This seems to be just the latest in a long series of sexual confusions and distortions.
    I am afraid there will come a day in the not too distant future where one of two things will happen. First, anyone who tries to insist on using the God given pronouns – God given in the sense of how a person was created – when someone wants to use the other gender, or no gender at all will be driven from their jobs – I think that is already happening – or be arrested for hate crimes. Second, the other option will be that there will be such a backlash at all of this type of nonsense that those who have genuine difficulties will become like lepers.
    So I return to the opening line of the first reading: “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings…”
    Being among the righteous is going to become more costly. Whether it is within the church where trying to stand up for everyone and their right to pray the Mass as they choose, or whether it is in the culture that has gone so far from decency that it is hard to find a way back, it will become more costly to choose to follow Christ. Jesus taught his disciples in the gospel today that he was about to be killed. They did not understand it clearly, because they were not ready to embrace the fullness of the truth.
    WE MUST STRUGGLE FOR THE TRUTH. It will not always be comfortable to do. It will not always be easy to discern. But we must struggle against all the powers of darkness and destruction that are coming against genuine and solid Christians today. I go back to a line from Deuteronomy that we had in the Mass through the summer that Joshua said: “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
    Something like that should be the defining statement of every person who tries to follow Christ. And we have promises that he will be with us. I have a little plaque on the front of my computer in my office with a quote from Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”
    There is an absolute truth that exists. There are people along the wide spectrum of the path of this truth. There are also people who are wandering about on the lie that they think is truth, on a path that they think is truth.
    Our job, as hard as it is, is to stay on the path of genuine truth and to call others back to that same path which is the only path toward heaven. Our church has its extremes even as our society does. Our job now and always is to call people back to the core of truth. Amen.
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