Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily Tuesday, 3rd Week in Advent 12-13-2022
Matthew 21:28-32 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121322.cfm
“The Lord never tires of forgiving, never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness.”Pope Francis.
How refreshing it must have been for those tax collectors and prostitutes who didn’t have hope until Jesus came along. We all know what it’s like when we repeatedly try to please God and are overcome some sinful pattern.
How many times have we failed to make the mark? How often we go to confession with the best of intentions, and no sooner than we know it, we are back where we started committing the same sin.
It can be very frustrating to say yes and mean yes and not have the strength or the willpower to overcome our sinfulness. But aren’t we the ones that Jesus comes to save? St. Teresa of Lisieux uses the metaphor of climbing a giant staircase of perfection.
And let’s not kid ourselves; none of us are always going to be perfect in this life. Realizing how difficult it is even to lift our foot to take that first step out of sinful behavior, St. Teresa tells us to simply try. She says, “Raise your little foot to scale the stairway of holiness.”
When we cannot even take that first step, she adds, “God requires you only to demonstrate your goodwill.” All we need to do is try, and when God sees our little effort and how futile it is, he will descend the stairway, gather us into his arms, and take us to the heights. (Cited in Empty Hands, page 113)
St. Teresa of Calcutta said something similar: “God does not call us to be successful but to be faithful.” St. Teresa the Little Flower was happy to stay little, and we don’t want to be too big for Jesus to lift. Jesus was drawn to the tax collectors and sinners because they were helpless and knew they needed a Savior.
They said “no” at first, and when they saw Jesus and felt his compassion in their hearts, their “no” became a “yes.” Pope Francis summed it well when he said, “The Lord never tires of forgiving, never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness.” Pope’s quotes: Ask for forgiveness | National Catholic Reporter. https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/francis-chronicles/popes-quotes-ask-forgiveness
Ignite the Fire
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC