It happened that two men became very good buddies. They enjoyed talking about many subjects, especially sports and politics, sometimes staying up till midnight or later. Finally, one man said to the other, “You are my closest friend. I want you to do something for me.”
“Sure, what?” asked the other.
“Well, I am getting married and I would like you to be best man.”
The other looked at him, astonished. “Why didn’t you ever tell me you had a fiancée?”
Sometimes we act like that man. We fail to let others know the most significant aspect of our lives. I assume because you are attending Mass – and even come forward to receive Jesus – that you value your faith. Probably most of you would recognize it belongs in first place. Yet I have had people give me this excuse for missing Sunday Mass: “Father, we had visitors.”
I asked them the logical question: why did you not invite the visitors or at least say if they wished they could stay in the house, but that you and your family always attend Sunday Mass – and that your friends would be welcome to join you?
Love means to desire the very best for the other person. If I had a place in Arizona, I would want my friend to know about it – and that he is welcome any time. I don't have such a place, but you and I do have something much better than an escape from Seattle’s dreary winter.
I am not saying we should be constantly talking to others about God. Everything is ultimately about Him, but there is a time and place to get specific. That’s something we need to pray about. Ask the Lord to open the right door and recognize you might not be the one to walk through it. Maybe He will inspire someone else to say the appropriate word to that brother or grandchild you are concerned about. May it be so. And may we never lose sight about what love means - to desire the very best, that is, the eternal salvation of the other person.
C.S. Lewis stated:
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption which you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long, we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."
Jesus tells us to love God with our entire heart, soul, mind and strength - and to love our neighbor as ourself. That means to help him realize he has a purpose, that he wasn't just spit out by an idiotic universe. You and I may not have the words to convince him, but we can start by trying to take the proper attitude - a certain reverence for the other person.
That reverence comes easy when a person attracts us or inspires our gratitude. It's harder when they have nothing to offer - or, worse, if they annoy us. Recently someone spoke cruel words to me. It was hard to look on that person with reverence. But perhaps the greatest irreverence occurs not because of repulsion, but attraction - when we view the other as a means of gratification. The most horrible case is the sexual abuse of a child, especially by a clergyman, but there are other ways to lose sight who the other person truly is, that they have a destiny we can either help or hinder.
The Old Testament reading tells us to value the very people whom society considers expendable: the immigrant, the fatherless child and the widow. (Ex 22:20) Those categories give us a good starting point. From there we can ask the grace to love each person by desiring the very best - their eternal salvation.
From Archives (for Thirtieth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies (well worth listening)
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Bulletin (First Quarter Report, Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure)
Sex Scandal Hits Texas
Aborting Child Protection (Does Planned Parenthood oppose child abuse?)
Archbishop Pell: A Case Study in False Accusations See also: An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm
The Fiery Furnace
Jesus Teaching Concerning Heaven
Some Good News on Teen Pregnancy and Abortion
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History
He Approached the Victim: "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack."
Germaine Greer on Birth Control
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)
Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church
Deflating Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Stephen Jay Gould: Gorbachev of Darwinism?
Test Tube Offspring Want to Know Father
Erickson vs. Bartell Drugs
Call No Man Father
What is Original Sin of Sex?
Bicentennial Man (Hidden Assumptions)
Bogus Knights of Columbus Oath
Ossuary of James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus
Novena for Youth (to discover God's plan)
Death of Major Robert D. Lindenau
(Husband of my niece Tonya)
Parish Picture Album
Robbery caught on parish surveillance camera
Can you help the Monroe Police identify this man?
October 12, 2011 at St. Mary of the Valley, Monroe, WA (longer version):
At 0:03 man enters through open gate in fence, looks, seems to turn around and walk back (going north)
0:43 two men enter slowly, walk along fence (going west), disappear from view of surveillance camera
1:15 one man approaches car, looks through front window on passenger side, inserts tool into upper left corner between door frame and window, pulls causing glass to shatter. He grabs an item from car and leaves quickly. The robbery takes place in less than 20 seconds.
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru