Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
Little Johnny asked his grandma how old she was. Grandma answered, “39 and holding.” Johnny thought for a moment, and then said, “How old would you be if you let go?” We sometimes need to let go, and keep life in perspective. The following may help. In a cemetery somewhere in the U.S., there are two gravestone placed right next to each other. On one is a large, imposing marker for a deceased general. It lists all of his battles that he was in, as well as many of his accomplishments. Next to this large stone marker is a small one erected for a young woman who died when she was only 21 years old, and the inscription her husband had engraved on the marker simply says, “Everywhere she went, she brought flowers.” Everywhere she went, she brought flowers. This is what I think all of us are called to do in our own way, to discover and offer flowers. Our unique, God-given talents to each other. Someone once said there are three kinds of givers in the world, grudge givers, duty givers, and thanks givers.
Grudge givers say, “I hate to give.” Duty givers say, “I ought to give.” Thanks givers say, “I want to give.” In other words, grudge givers give reluctantly, with a certain feeling of resentment. Duty givers give reluctantly too, with a certain feeling of obligation. Thanks givers, on the other hand, give from the heart, without any feeling of resentment or obligation. The two widows, one from the first reading and the gospel, are beautiful examples of thanks givers, thanks living, trusting God. I remember talking to my mother some years ago. I’ve talked to my mother since, but talked to my mom some years ago, and we were talking about parenting and motherhood. I asked my mom, “Mom, what is your definition of being a mom?” Mom simply looked at me and said, “A willingness to be inconvenienced.” A willingness to be inconvenienced. This definition could also be applied to marriage, priesthood, living life as a true follower of Jesus.
It’s easy to love when things are going great. It’s easy to give from our surplus. To those who have nothing, everything is a gift. Give as a gift what you have received a gift. All is a gift. All is gift. Give it away, give it away. We may respect others for certain reasons. We love others without reasons. Whenever we have a gift, we must have a giver, and our faith that God is the giver of all life, of all gifts.
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