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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: Oct 10, 2021
  • 10-10-2021 - 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    Hebrews 4:12
    Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
    I do not normally like to work with props, because I think it is so often distracting rather than helpful. But today I am making an exception.
    (Draw saber, grasp blade)
    What do you see? A saber, of course. Do not worry, the only thing that is sharp is the point.
    (Turn the saber)
    What do you see now? It could be looked at as a cross. And that is what I want you to see. The cross of Christ is the two-edged sword. The Word of God is the two-edged sword. The Gospel of John starts with this declaration: “in the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God.” This “Word” is the personification or the incarnation of God himself for our world in Jesus.
    God’s word is consoling and life-giving, but it also inspires fear in those who try to ignore it. Saint Justin the Martyr said: “The word of his truth is hotter and brighter than the sun, and pierces the very depths of hearts and minds”.
    The depths of a person’s heart, his deepest thoughts, attitudes and intentions, lie open to God’s all-seeing eye. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote “What a person does or thinks is expressed in his actions, but one can never be sure of what motivates his actions. That, however, is never hidden from God”.
    This is where I think we can see the unity of the cross and the saber. It is the cross of Christ that cuts through all our pretense, all our posturing, all our pride. It is the cross of Christ, wielded by the King of Kings who was victorious over death, that cuts apart all those things that limit our ability to work for Christ.
    When we allow ourselves to take up the cross of Christ, (grasp the hilt) we are also taking up the sword of the Spirit, the sword of the Word of God. It is only the Word of God that cuts as it heals. (grasp the blade) It is standing beneath the cross that we have the strength to be what God needs us to be in this world today.
    It is also by recognizing that we have all we need in the Word of God to conquer in Jesus name (grasp the hilt) that we are able to step out in faith and confidence knowing that Jesus has already conquered the evil of this world by his death and resurrection.
    This prop, this saber, was not meant to confuse you or distract you from the reality of the words we heard today. It is instead a call to rally around the cross (grasp the blade) recognizing that the Word of God, Jesus himself, is the weapon forged in the womb of a virgin, forged by the will of God, who has already defeated evil.
    It is all too much of a tragedy that we need to stand before the world lifting high the cross and (grasp the hilt) preparing ourselves for the spiritual warfare that is gathering around us in our society today.
    And in case you are wondering, this is my saber from West Point, the Military Academy. (Salute and sheath the saber)
    So we pray.
    Lord Jesus, invincible king, you came bringing healing to our hearts. You also came to cut away all that cannot serve you from us. Help us in these days to not just keep our eyes fixed on you, but to take up the Word that you have given us in such a way that we can fight for your glory.
    So many around us in our world do not desire to know you or to serve you. Give us the Word, the words, that will help you to cut between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and be able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. Help us to live our lives in this world so as to be instruments not of war, but of healing. Help us to take up the Word of God boldly and bring your message of salvation to those who are not even aware of their own poverty and need.
    Finally, keep us safe as we face the spiritual warfare of our own day. Keep us faithful and on fire with your Spirit that we will not fall away ourselves but that we will be solid witnesses to your glory and lead others to your kingdom. Amen.
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