Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Mass and Visit to Sacred Heart Catholic School

August 31, 2022
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Muenster, TX

1 Corinthians 23:1-9
Psalm 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
Luke 4:38-44

No one is born alone. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. No one achieves important things alone. No one should die alone. These are important lessons that you learn in your time here at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Muenster, Texas. They are also lessons about which you remind your parents and families by your sharing these lessons with them at home.

In our first reading today, Saint Paul is addressing the members of the Church in the town of Corinth. Some of the people had become jealous of each other’s gifts and began to resent each other so much so that they began to see each other not as brothers and sisters, but first as adversaries and then soon after as enemies — going as far as forming and fitting into cliques as fitting in with Apollos or fitting in with Paul. Saint Paul reminds them and corrects them that he is not the leader of a gang into which he demands that they fit into, but that the only hope of belonging is to love and pray to Jesus and help each other to do the same. God created and designed us to belong to each other and not simply to fit in. He sent Jesus as His Son to die for us and to establish His Holy Catholic Church that we might not only belong to Christ but to each other as members of a family and as members of His Church.

Cliques are based on fear whereby the people who try to fit into the clique judge each other and demand that members not be themselves but exclude and bully those who do not fit in. Christ does not bully us to “fit in” to His Church. Rather, through the gift of His Word and the gifts of the sacraments, He frees us from sin and enables us to belong to Him and to each other as our true selves. We spend our entire lives trying to become our truest selves by a life lived faithfully and morally in loving God and our neighbor, especially those who are most likely to be excluded.

When we forget that each of our talents and strengths are gifts from God given to be used to glorify Him and to serve and to love other people, we soon become insecure and afraid and then jealous and envious of other people who are truly our brothers and sisters: whom God has placed in our lives to help and to serve, and to love. When we start to feel jealous or insecure, that is the time for us to stop and to pray to God asking Him to give us gratitude for our own unique gifts and talents as well as to thank Him for our neighbor whom He has also blest with authentic talents and gifts. Without praying to God, we soon become lost in our envy and jealousy and become even more afraid.

As Saint Therese the Little Flower once wrote so beautifully, “Jesus has been gracious enough to teach me a lesson about the mystery of the differences in souls, simply by holding up to my eyes, the book of nature. I understood how all the flowers God created are beautiful — how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away from the perfume of the violet or the simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wildflower. And so, it is in the world of souls… Jesus’ Garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but He created small ones as well… and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances, when He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing God’s will… in being what He would have us be.”

You and I are here today in this church to worship God as Jesus has taught us to do as His brothers and sisters who belong to each other as His Church. We worship God by offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, by receiving the Eucharist that is the gift of belonging to Jesus and to each other. In a few moments when we receive Holy Communion, let each of us ask Jesus to show us how to be grateful for our gifts and those of others and let us thank Him for those gifts and for letting us belong to Him and to each other.

%d bloggers like this: