Fr. Rick’s Three-Minute Homily for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A
June 25, 2023, Matthew 10:26-33
What Is It Worth?
Teachers and coaches bear an innate quality that wants to help others succeed. I have taught people who wish to become Catholic over the years. There have been a couple of occasions when the new Catholic wants to become a teacher.
They attend a four-year class with the diocese called Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute. I have seen them take courses to become catechists. Watching someone grow in their love for Jesus and the Church is a tremendous joy!
We don’t have to be catechists to stand up for the Faith we received from Jesus and the apostles. The time will come for each of us when society tests our love for Jesus.
Our Church cannot change divinely revealed truths in morality and doctrine. Jesus made Peter and his successors The Rock on which He built His Church. Our faithfulness to the Rock is our faithfulness to Jesus.
Jesus tells us not to fear those who can kill the body and can do more. Many of Jesus’ followers have given their bodies to martyrdom to remain faithful to Jesus. Their sacrifices acknowledged Jesus before their persecutors. We hear of people today martyred because they will not renounce their Faith in Jesus and the Church.
Physical torture and martyrdom are not present in the US today. Our culture is attacking more than our bodies. It is attacking our souls, who we are as we stand before God. The values we choose to form our lives and destiny proclaim loudly to others if we acknowledge Jesus.
Some foes to our Faith destroy fidelity to marriage; Some ruin our sense of generosity and stewardship; we can lose our self-respect through addictive drugs, alcohol, and pornography; some foes destroy the dignity we hold in sexuality, the sanctity of marriage, and human life in its most vulnerable state, a child in its mother’s womb.
Our culture challenges Gospel values through movies, jokes, novels, humor, situation comedies, all excuses, and many more.
Jesus tells us too not to be afraid. We all have that beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit, Fear of the Lord. His holy fear keeps us true to Jesus when tempted to follow the crowd.
My friends, we won’t treat our Catholic Faith like a buffet, pick and choose what we want to follow. We can’t do that to Jesus. And if we have, if we do, we have to stop and think, is it worth it? What value is our immortal soul’s destiny to us today?
Like the candidate to become Catholic decides to become a catechist, we must choose to acknowledge Jesus before others. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
This teaching of Jesus is hard for us. It must be hard for Jesus too because He knows some people will throw in the towel and follow the crowd for whatever reason. He takes that risk because He loves us so much.
Let’s take stalk this week and see where we stand with Jesus and His Rock. Start by going to Jesus in your heart and telling Him you love Him and why you love Him. And somewhere in the vastness of your heart, welcome His mercy wherever the world has a grip on you. Jesus wants us to know so much is at stake.
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC