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You Are Called To Be
Witness Of Faith Today

Homily 08 18 2013
20th Sunday OT - C

Homily 08 18 2013
20th Sunday OT - C

View the Readings for this day

The cistern, Jeremiah was thrown into, was just as Joseph, the son of Jacob before him, and John the Baptist after him.


The cistern, Jeremiah was thrown into, was just as Joseph, the son of Jacob before him, and John the Baptist after him.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews offers encouragement to all who are struggling and resisting, even to becoming martyrs.

So many in our assembly can relate to "being in the cistern" and most of us need encouragement too, in the face of our own, or a loved one's suffering.

How great is the anguish, Jesus laments, until his mission is accomplished. Salvation does not bring an end to suffering, rather it is accomplished through suffering.

With Luke we are reminded to question injustice, to challenge the unethical, to confront rather than compromise, to rock the boat to meet the standard of Christ. Our commitment will struggle for the ideal and perseveres despite obstacles.

Like the martyrs, we are called to be witnesses of faith today. In the Hebrews reading, the author assures us that these witnesses, surround us and spurs us on while we struggle. Jeremiah was willing to speak out and through the centuries others have spoken out like Jeremiah taking his lead.

In the first reading Jeremiah is put in a well, deep down, cut off from light, up to his knees or elbows in mud because he fought in his town against injustice, evil and sin. The second reading reminds us not to cling to sin, to stick to goodness, to fight the good fight to the end.

In the gospel Jesus gives a warning: "Don't think I came to bring an easy peace. No I came to bring a fight, a battle, a struggle, a fire, a sword to undo all the evil in the world. You, you should join in my fight against evil.

We can join by our own confession of sin, to ask for forgiveness and overcome sin in our lives. We can join in educating our children, by helping the next generations witness the faith. There is more to that fight, to that fire, and to that sword than sin.

When we join Jesus in the invitation today, we are facing a great and necessary mission indeed. Alone we can do nothing but together and with the fire he brought - the fire of the Spirit - we can purify and cauterize the whole world.

Jesus is not recommending us to reject an unbelieving spouse or disown a child who doesn't go to church, but Jesus instead summons us to a purity of vision and purpose.

He quotes the prophet Micah who sees that one's enemies in the faith are very often those of one's household and we have to ask if we compromise our values in family.

There is a baptism Jesus says, which is a synonym for trial and suffering. We've had some tough gospels in the past few weeks, but this weekend's is one of the toughest to accept. Jesus is telling us that following Him ;may mean that we will have problems with those closest to us when they aren't ready to make the sacrifices that we are.

If there is to be a choice between family and friends or Jesus, then our priority must be the Lord. We actually seldom have to make this choice, but even on vacation this summer you've had to make a choice about Sunday Mass.

Following Jesus requires courage. His way is not the easy way. He took the hard way all the way up the hill to Calvary, dragging a cross on his shoulder. We pray for the ability to face the dilemmas that we know. And we pray for those people that are not ready to make Jesus their priority.

WE are followers of Jesus and he made it clear when he spoke about family dissension. Like Jesus the disciples had their baptism of suffering to endure and early Christian martyrs witnessed their faith and thousands more followed in their footsteps.

Ancient people had a more intimate knowledge of fire than we do. Their only nighttime illumination came from the flames of oil lamps. The smoke from the cooking fire on the hearth constantly irritated and reddened their eyes.

Everyone's fingers were callused from working household fires. Their arms and hands bore the scars from burns. Early in childhood, they learned that food tasted better cooked, that flames tempered metal tools, and that the kiln's heat hardened pottery.

People also knew firsthand the danger of uncontrolled fire. Homes regularly burned to the ground because of an overturned lamp or a carelessly maintained kitchen fire. Well into the nineteenth century, devastating fires shaped communities. In fact, fire may spur on the next urban renewal.

So, how was Jesus using the image of fire in this Gospel?

This Gospel recalls an ancient belief that fire is the manifestation of God. Jesus is reminding us of the radical nature of His ministry and is demanding we step up to the plate.

Our own time calls us to be witnesses of faith. We are challenged to different kinds of martyrdoms, sometimes little ones, for others they will be martyred. For each one of us has a baptism with which we must be baptized and through us, God will cast the purifying fire of his love upon the earth.

Jesus insists that he has not come to establish peace but to create division. There always has been disagreement among members of the church too.

Jesus is speaking about some who will reject him but many divisions in the church come from disagreements on how to follow Christ and there's disagreement about liturgical rules as well.

A part of our growth as a Catholic Parish is to work these areas of difference out together. Christ needs to be the center of our focus, not always our agenda.


Home Homilies Homily 08 18 2013

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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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