A special thank you this week to our friends from the Perales Family and Old St. Mary’s Parish, Chicago in the congregation.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript

There’s a story of a grandfather, who told his grandchildren, if you fall off a bicycle, you have to get back right on. And when grandpa fell off his bike, sure enough he got right back on. And when he fell off again, grandpa got right back on the bike once again, and again, and again and again. But grandma overheard the conversation, remarked, you old fool, you have to first pedal.

Consider these three well known people who never stopped pedaling, who never gave up, very highly motivated. Bishop Fulton Sheen, the great preacher, was once told by a college debate coach, you’re absolutely the worst speaker I’ve ever heard. True story.

Ernest Hemingway the great novelist, was told by a teacher, forget about writing, you don’t have the talent to do it. And Richard Hooker, the author of MASH, had his book rejected by six publishers before it was finally accepted and became a runaway best seller.

Listen again as Saint Paul speaks to the Corinthians. Therefor I am content with weakness with mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties, for the sake of Christ, for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong.

Saint Paul means that when he is weak, is then that he turns to God for help. Trust and surrender in the letting go. It is then that he opens himself to God, and allows the power of God to strengthen him.

To put it another way, Saint Paul is saying that you never experience weakness if you’ve never experienced it, you would never have then reached out for help. For his weakness, he then reached perfection. He would never have discovered the greatest source of power that a person can discover, and that power is God.

You know, we do not see things as they are. We see things as we are. Accept your limits. Put life in perspective. Turn weakness over to the lord. As Saint Paul so beautifully says about the lord’s presence and power in his life, my grace is enough for you, for in weakness, power reaches perfection.

When trials come our way, and they will. When crises come upon us, and they will. When hardships threaten to destroy us, and they can. Do not lose heart, rather we should take heart. Seek not to change others, but rather one’s self.