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Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>So, there was an older gentleman in town and he was not known to be one of the holiest men at the time. In fact, people readily called him one of the town sinners.
He went one day, towards the end of his life, he went to the wise priest and said to the wise priest, “Wise priest, I wish to die a good Christian Catholic.” Admirable. Admirable.
But the wise priest said to the man, “That’s admirable that you want to die a good Christian Catholic. But I invite you not to just think about dying a good Christian Catholic, I invite you to live now and always as a good Christian Catholic. So that when you die, you’ll have no concerns about where you go.”
I like that little story. I enjoy that little story about the wise priest and the older man. I enjoy it because it reminds us to live our lives prepared. Or, another way of saying that is; live our lives as good followers of Jesus, or, live our lives as his disciples.
I know you know that Cardinal Cupich has called us over the course of the past four and a half years almost five years, he’s called us to a time of renewal. Really looking at how we have to renew our church- both structurally, but also spiritually.
And I’ve been a little bit surprised for myself over the past three years. I’ve been surprised how my own discipleship in Jesus has been deepened. Let me give you an example.
You know I go to confession on a regular basis, but I’ll admit and I’ll be honest that I never really looked forward to going to confession. It was never something I looked forward to, I had no joy in going to confession.
But there was a catechist at St. Benedict Parish who gave me a beautiful image. And she said: think of your soul as this beautiful garden, but like all gardens we know what happens. And all gardens, there’s going to be at any given time, there’s going to be… Weeds.
Now think about the gardener who comes and removes those weeds and how good the garden looks afterwards. Think about Jesus as the gardener. Think about Jesus who comes and takes those weeds away. But Jesus will only come and take those weeds away, only if we ask him to. He needs an invitation.
And so, I’ve thought about that each time now I go to confession. I think about asking Jesus specifically to remove the weeds of my soul, remove those sins that have- that are mucking up the works. Remove those. And Jesus does it with joy. There’s nothing that Jesus wants more than to help to remove those weeds that clutter up the garden.
The gospel today and that little story invite us to be prepared. That means being Jesus’ disciples. That means letting go of those things that don’t help us be disciples. May Jesus be full of joy in all of our hearts as we let go of those things that we don’t need.