Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

August 30, 2020
Saint Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27

In the novel entitled The Great Divorce, written by C.S. Lewis, we read a unique story that depicts a visit to Heaven by a group of strangers from hell. Lewis depicts these strangers as empty and translucent and because of these qualities they are referred to as ghosts. In contrast, the angels and saints of Heaven whom the ghosts encounter are solid, and thus Lewis refers to them as solid people. In one encounter between a ghost and a solid person, there is a little, ugly lizard sitting on the shoulder of the ghost. The lizard is constantly speaking into the ear of the ghost, manipulating it, and drawing the ghost’s attention away from the beauty and truth of heaven that surrounds him. At one point, the solid person, an angel, asks the ghost, “would you like me to kill the lizard?” The ghost is first confused so he just gives a passive nod of approval, not truly understanding to what he has just agreed.

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