Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
She was a true treasure of World War II. Her name Miep Gies. In 1933, Miep Gies was hired as a secretary to a Jewish spice merchant in Amsterdam. In 1942, the merchant’s oldest daughter was ordered by Nazi occupiers to report to a work camp. Rather than surrender their lives, the merchant and his family placed their lives in the hands of the secretary who hid them in an unused annex of the spice warehouse. Miep Gies and her husband, both Christians, risked their lives every day for two years to provide food, clothing, medical supplies, and the much-needed friendship and care that the family desired.
A record of this incredible story was kept by the family’s youngest daughter, and that journal was found after the family sadly was deported. We know it today as the Diary of Ann Frank. Now, Miep, at the age of 87, would go around and tell people as she traveled the world, this inspiring story, and this is what she would often say, “I am a common woman, I simply had no choice. I would live a life of regret had I not held the Franks. In my opinion,” she said, “Remorse can be worse than losing your life.” I share that today as a way to help us think back on the second reading from Paul. As he describes Christian leadership, his affection for his flock is genuine, and his effort to serve them is very heartfelt. He’s focused on relying on God’s word, not building a reputation for himself.
Both in Gies and in Paul’s words today, we have these messages that relate to us even to this day because they challenge us to ask ourselves, how often do we busy ourselves with what we think are great things when the time could be spent to help things like bringing about more peace inside others and inside the world? How often do we convince ourselves we are too busy to help others or we’re too tired or distracted to continue to pray for others or for the world which needs a refocus on care for the earth and for one another as the family of God?
We are many common people, but we are a Christian people. As we listen to these words of scripture, as we come to be fed by the word of God and by the sacrament of Jesus himself, may today’s readings, and I hope this brief reflection will help us to go forth this week and to renew our commitment to live as humble but courageous disciples. Disciples who recognize we belong to God’s community of people who tend to the world and its people with compassion and love. Let’s remember we belong to that common family of God and care for each other in such a way.