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Every Day Is A Good Day!

Homily 03 02 2014
8th Sunday OT - A

Homily 03 02 2014
8th Sunday OT - A

View the Readings for this day

It is said that Pope John XXIII who will be canonized in April...that, when visiting a group of seminarians in Rome and knowing that he was dying from cancer, said to them: "My dear students. Every day is a good day-- a good day for living and a good day for dying!"


He could never have said that dying was a good day if he had not blessed every day in his long life and by now had discovered that he could no longer change this habit.

The implication is that one must take time in the easy days to bless the goodness of God's world so that when the dark days come one can scarcely know anything so clearly as the blessing of another good day. (Demetrius R. Dumm, OSB)

Right after telling his followers to "be perfect," Jesus tells them, "don't worry" (Matthew 5:48, 6:25). In fact, he repeats himself five times.

Don't worry about your life. Worry won't get you anywhere. Why worry about your food, drink, and clothing? Stop worrying. Don't worry about the future.

Don't live like a Roman tax collector or the pagan Gentiles, says Jesus, who "run after all these things."

Instead of hoarding money, give it away. Instead of obsessing about yourself, care for others. Beyond your prudent planning for the cares of life, abandon yourself to a God who is both infinitely powerful and intimately personal.

Enjoy the beauty of birdsong and the fragrance of flowers.

God is like a generous father who knows what you need, and a nursing mother for whom it's impossible to forget her baby at her breast (Isaiah 49:15).

Don't fret about the future but enjoy the present moment.

Not all of our worries are merely imagined, not by a long shot; some are genuinely real.

There are many good reasons to worry.

Among our friends and families is divorce, unemployment, youth not going to church, eating disorders, bad mortgages, chemotherapy treatments, sleep disorders, health in general, and more.

And when we look at the larger world there are environmental disasters, the collapse of the housing and financial markets, loss of jobs, and the threat of terrorism.

Although we manufacture some worries by projecting our anxiety onto the world, other worries are sane responses to an insane world. In either case, says Jesus, if you "live like a pagan Gentile" who's ignorant of the one true God and who worships false idols, or if you mimic the ways of the world like a Roman tax collector, then you're certain to experience disappointment.

The world can be wild, but Jesus says that under the care of his Father it can nonetheless be a place of peace. We hunger for God because we recognize that we need something more than what our humanity can provide us, we need something other than what we can give ourselves.

And in that hunger lies the choice: do we serve the hunger itself, or do we serve what our hunger points toward? One of my worries sometimes is the Church today and it's future. The church - that is, the universal Christian church - the church seems to be dying.

But we are in change. Transition is painful, and involves hurt or loss or regret for that which can be no more There is a continuation, that the transition we are currently undergoing - yet I think most of us have found new hope in the heart of Pope Francis and believe the Church - will become part of the inherited tradition of future generations. We, as we are now, will be carried into the future, even if it is by virtue of the fact that the Church may be different.

We may become part of the memory of the church, part of the deep and rich humus from which the future church grows. The church as it is now is not the church of 500 or a thousand years ago. Why should we expect the future to be any different?

But it seems to me that the greater reason why we should not lose hope is articulated in today's reading from Matthew's Gospel. We are confronted with a choice: do we serve our anxiety about the church's future, preserve the status quo - or do we serve the larger purpose which the process of transformation points to? Jesus told the disciples not to worry. Change was all about them, in the processes of nature, in the raiment of birds and flowers, and the lives of human beings.

Jesus asks of his disciples: Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

And we need to ask ourselves: will our anguish add a single hour to the life of the church as we know it today? We are asked to consider: what do we imagine to be more precious to God: the church as it is today, or to allow the Church to follow the Holy Spirit?

The church is like the blades of grass mentioned by Jesus: ripe and green today, and thrown on the fire tomorrow.

What endures is not the structure or form, but the substance: faith, the covenant, the trust in God's faithfulness to all humanity.

But that trust, that hope, that faith, comes with a price, a burden: and it is the price of faith, the price of hope, the necessity to let go of treasured anxieties and leave ourselves vulnerable and open to change and transformation. It is the preparedness to suffer for the sake of trust, for the purpose of surrendering ourselves to the possibility of hope.

C S Lewis said it best when he wrote:

You see, I don't think God wants us to be happy. I don't think God wants us to be unhappy, either; it's just that our happiness has nothing to do with it. What I think God wants is that we should grow up, that we should leave the nursery, and love and be loved. And in order to do that, we must suffer, for we are like blocks of stone, and the blows from the sculptor's chisel that strike us so hard that we can scarcely bear the pain, are nontheless what make us perfect. What Lewis recognized is that the suffering of change is part of the fullness of becoming something other than what we are. We are called to recognize that relationship with God - covenant - involves change, requires transformation. To live is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often. If the church is to be a living entity, if it is to live in fullness of relationship with God, then it must also suffer the hardship of change, the chisel blows of transformation. For beyond the pain, and beyond human hope, is the faithfulness of God. It is by faithfulness we are both served and saved. The worldly wisdom Paul has written about in the readings for the past few weeks would consider the practice of giving to be absolute foolishness, but to the person who relies on God and desires to be a trustworthy steward, it's the result of true wisdom

The Apostle Paul writes: "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

But the terror he talks about is not the terror of anxiety. It is the terror of awe. Worry replaced by wonder. Fear replaced by faith. Trembling replaced by trust. "Do not worry," Jesus says. "For who of you can add one hour to your life by worrying?" This is the good news of the Christian faith. May it be so - for you and for me.

A reflection entitled "How to Worry" tells about the clock that had a nervous breakdown.

A new clock placed on the shelf was ticking two ticks to the second as any good clock should tick. Then it began to calculate how many times it was going to have to tick. "Two ticks to the second means 120 ticks per minute. That's 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year." Horrified, the clock had a nervous breakdown. The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who asked, "Clock, what's your trouble?" "Oh, doctor," the clock complained, "I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks a second and 120 ticks per minute and 7200 ticks per hour, and ..." "Hold it," the psychiatrist cut in, "How many ticks do you have to tick at a time?" "Oh, I just have to tick one tick at a time," was the reply. "Then let me make a suggestion," replied the doctor. "You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Don't even think about the next tick until its time. Just tick one tick at a time. Can you do that?" "Of course, I can" said the clock now happy and revived.

This story, like today's Gospel story, teaches us three things: why people worry, the futility of worry, and how to overcome worry.

In the Lord We Trust!

We are not atoms scattered in the vortex of the universe, but beloved children of a caring Father who created us out of love and has in store for us an eternity of happiness. He has provided abundantly for all our needs through the immense resources of nature and has entrusted to our care this beautiful and fertile planet we call "our home."

He wants that we responsibly provide for our needs through honest work, but also fully trusting in Him, without anxiety and without losing sight of our eternal destiny.

The Lord is not an arrogant and overbearing boss, but a loving Father and a trust-filled friend who honors us with a special call to be His partners in the construction of His Kingdom on earth. This is our mission in this life.

May our participation in this Eucharist be a grateful profession of faith in God's providential care for all mankind, a renewal of our entrustment to Him, and a recommitment to make our priority the building of His Kingdom of justice, compassion and peace.

Jesus already told us in last Sunday's Gospel that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

That perfection is made real when we place ourselves in the position of our Father in heaven by never forgetting any of his children: through caring for the unborn and the mothers who carry them; protecting the children in our community; helping the disabled; reaching out to the lonely and the outcast; lifting up the poor; honoring the elderly; and valuing every living person because they are more important than the birds of the sky!


Home Homilies Homily 03 02 2014

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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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