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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008

 
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Fr.Paul Weinberger
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Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008 Reply with quote

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008
Homily by:
Father Paul Weinberger
Saint William the Confessor Catholic Church
Greenville, Texas
June 22, 2008

”Everyone, who acknowledges Me before men, I will acknowledge before My Heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before men, I will deny before My Heavenly Father. Fear no man!”

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen

The translation here is not as strong as it should be here. “Fear no one” is not as strong as “fear no man.” Of course that includes women as well. As I said, the translation could be stronger but this is a new translation and hopefully we will soon get a “new/old” translation.

A while back I went to the funeral of a friend of mine, who was a member of First Baptist in Dallas. The church is at Northwest Hwy and Preston Road. It is a very large church. When I went in it was 2:00 pm on a Friday afternoon and the church was filled. The man had been a lifetime member.

I walked in wearing a black suit and a collar. Everyone was visiting and talking and walking around and I didn’t even bat an eye. It was perfectly fine and I didn’t have a problem with that at all. You see, they were going to read the bible and talk about it; that is what a Baptist service is. Then they were going to say some prayers. Doing that for Baptists is called an assembly. The moment the minister got up to start the funeral everyone quieted down and it stayed that way pretty much the whole time.

Now, in this Church, the Blessed Sacrament, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ is reserved right there on the Altar. These two lamps are known as “presence lamps” because they speak of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle. If someone were to enter here and do what they were doing at the Baptist Church before, during, and after Mass, it would be to show a lack of respect.

Look at the first page of your bulletin and you will see some prayers with Latin translations and literal translations

O Lord, make us equally fear and have perpetual love for Your Holy Name.

Last week was Father’s Day and every good father, in some way, gets us ready for God the Father. I said, “Every good father.” There are bad fathers and they wreak havoc in the world. The father of Hitler and the Father of Stalin had something in common; they beat their sons everyday and look who ended up paying for that. A good father however, has the element of fear and it is a respect when children fear their “good” fathers. They fear disappointing him as well as that “other” fear. In a sense our biological fathers prepare us for a holy fear directed to God the Father.

Coming into Church and just starting up a conversation shows no fear of God and no respect for His presence. In a sense, to carry on a conversation in here rather than outside or somewhere else shows a lack of fear that should be there. I remember when I was a kid we’d gone to Mass and after Mass I said to my mother,

“I didn’t know that Mr. So and So had a hearing aide.”

My mother told me that he didn’t have a hearing aide. He was listening to the ball game on a transistor radio. Parents can explain what that is to their children after Mass. [Laughter] Even if he was listening to God’s team, it doesn’t count because what he was doing was showing a lack of fear in God’s house. And guess what? He was giving bad example to people around him; I noticed it.

When Our Lord says in this Gospel to fear no man He is telling us to fear God.

”Everyone, who acknowledges Me before men, I will acknowledge before My Heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before men, I will deny before My Heavenly Father. Fear no man!”

We have many different ways of acknowledging Christ before men, in public and in private ways. We also have as many opportunities to deny Him publicly and in private. We call that sin. When we deny Christ publicly or privately, this is the definition of sin is it not?

Just this last week we had the beginning of summer. I have been a priest 19 years and every summer I have noticed a habit that is not a good habit. The habit is this, apart from people taking vacations, always a good third or forth of the parish disappears. No, they don’t go for three or four months to the French Rivera but stay in town. You see them around town but they are not in Church. Now imagine if I went three or four months without eating. I could probably make it. Do not try this at home. [Laughter] But if children went three or four months without eating any food there would be nothing left of them and so to be three or four months away from the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ every year and see no problem with that, I find really sad. It should be remarked upon because it is a custom in the summer and not a good one.

We have children here preparing to make their First Holy Communion and many are in the process of going to Confession fourteen times. After fourteen times they get used to it and are comfortable with Confession. How many times I have found out that some of these children are coming to Confession but they just don’t come to Mass on Sunday. I am speechless and left with my mouth hanging open and nothing to say. I marvel at such lack of fear of God.

I know many Christians, who are not Catholic Christians who do not go to church every Sunday.. I know some, who would never miss but many do not go every Sunday; there is no compunction in the sense that, “I have to do this.” But as Catholics we know that it is a requirement of our faith that we go to Church every Sunday and all Holy Days.

Yesterday we had Baptisms here. Over nineteen years I’ve seen children Baptized and disappear and then reappear when it is time for First Communion. Then they disappear and reappear in time for Confirmation and then disappear again. What is this, Harry Houdini? A lot of disappearing is going on! If someone does not want to practice the Catholic Faith then there is no reason to be Baptized into that faith, but being Baptized into the Catholic Faith brings with it requirements and so many blessings. Those people, who wish to take a vacation from Church would never say that they wish to take a vacation from God and welcome the “other team” into their homes, yet that is exactly what is happening.

Father uses the term “other team” quite often. He is referring to the devil and his minions.

I remember years ago when a man and his wife, who’d been married civilly for fifty years, announced that they were going to have a big Mass and they were going to have a wedding after fifty years. That man had thrown away a lifetime as a husband and father. I asked him why they had not gotten their marriage blessed from the beginning because there was nothing stopping them. He said that his mother objected. Mommy didn’t like it. Here he’d been civilly married for fifty years and he threw everything away. Never in those fifty years did he go to Communion and offer it to God for his wife and children. How sad was the example he gave to his family and children. He denied Christ those 50 years but I am sure it was a nice party. And wasn’t it nice to see all the children and grandchildren there for mom and dad’s big wedding? They will be talking about that for decades to come and there you see the rot spreading.

How can you and I make sure we are not denying Christ in big and small ways? What are some of the ways we can acknowledge Christ? If we acknowledge Christ before men or in private, He will acknowledge us before the Father. What about a daily rosary? There has never been a generation that has had so much free time in the history of the world than we do now. Consider the luxuries that we have. You can even pray the rosary with Mother Angelica twice a day or maybe three. The fact is that the rosary is a meditation on the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. We don’t have time though because our days are filled with things like TV.

Another way to acknowledge Christ before men is to look at the Mass schedule and try to make Mass during the week. If you wish to acknowledge Christ before men, this is the most superior way. Many of my friends, who are Protestants, have a great devotion to reading the Bible. So many Catholics appear to believe that if they open their Bible they will be shot on sight. Reading the Bible and speaking of it to your spouse, family, co-workers, and others is a way of acknowledging Christ, and not just throughout the summer but also throughout the year.

I went over to see Fr. Vogel just before Mass today and the first thing I did was to hear his Confession and give him the Anointing of the Sick. In receiving the Sacraments, Father Vogel acknowledged Christ in those Sacraments. Any time someone lines up here to go to Confession they are acknowledging Christ. Confession is more than just a laundry list. Every time I go to Confession I get the same thing you get. Not only am I acknowledging Christ I am also getting my sins forgiven and am receiving the grace of the Sacrament. It doesn’t cost anything either! This is what our life as Catholic Christians is about, to acknowledge Christ.

To be so bone-idle and lazy and to never acknowledge Christ is a shame. Would you be so bone-idle and lazy in the presence of your father around the house? Then why is it that we believe that we can be so languorous with God the Father? It shows a lack of holy fear and respect.

Another way we can acknowledge God in a public way and in a private way is to pray every day, and not just the Rosary. Isn’t that what Christ is speaking about at the beginning of the Gospel when He says, “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light.” Isn’t He talking about prayer? “What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” That means taking a break from TV or whatever and have conversation with God so that what He tells you and me, we can tell to others. We can acknowledge Him.

This is a Rosary a young man made for me a while back. I always keep it up there on the kneeler in front of the Tabernacle. I like it because it doesn’t make any noise when it hits wood. It is made of rope. Anyway, many of you have a devotion to the Divine Mercy. This picture is of Jesus and the Divine Mercy is coming from His Sacred Heart. Now if you pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, there are prayers leading up to the chaplet and then there are prayers that end it. But the main body of the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be prayed on a regular five decade Rosary using basically two prayers. It is a very beautiful prayer. After Holy Communion, after I receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ and finish here at the Altar, most days I have the privilege to turn around and kneel down to offer thanksgiving. Now listen to this prayer and how fitting it is for after Holy Communion

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Then we say ten times,

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Many times I have seen people receive Holy Communion and they turn around and walk right out the door. Isn’t that to deny Christ in public? Now, I have to say that here at St. William’s if that happens it is maybe 2% or less. When I know that someone left right after Holy Communion it is because they have a good reason or they are not feeling well or both. Do you know whom the first person was to leave Mass early? Judas! He left so he could betray Christ. Don’t we deny Christ like Judas when we receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion and then turn around and walk out or walk back to the pew and strike up a conversation with somebody or someone, as this translation would say…with some man or woman. No, that is a special time. When I have the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in my heart and soul, I can offer Him to God the Father for my sins and the sins of the whole world like it says in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Most of the time I can get in a good five decades for my thanksgiving. What is more important than the salvation of the world? The short answer is “NOTHING!”

So, this business about acknowledging Christ or denying Him is for each one of us. These ridiculous games we play like not going to Mass or appearing at Church for only certain things and then disappearing again has to stop. We have to acknowledge Christ before men; that is why we were Baptized…born again through the waters of Baptism.

”Everyone, who acknowledges Me before men, I will acknowledge before My Heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before men, I will deny before My Heavenly Father. Fear no man!”

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen
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