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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008

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Fr.Paul Weinberger

Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:48 pm    Post subject: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008 Reply with quote

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2008

Homily by:
Father Paul Weinberger
Saint William the Confessor Catholic Church
Greenville, Texas
July 13, 2008

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.”

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


Last Monday I bought the bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the first of nine days leading up to her Feast Day on July 16th. The Feast Day is of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. As you can read on your calendars, the 16th of July is the last apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes to Saint Bernadette in 1858. This year is the year of the Immaculate Conception because of Our Lady of Lourdes.

On Wednesday the statue will be placed in its appropriate place, where I planned for it to be placed on a significant Feast of Our Lady. We have all seen pictures of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. She is very similar to Our Lady of Victory, and of course they are the same person, the same Blessed Mother. On the statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Jesus is holding a scapular and on Our Lady of Victory He is holding a rosary. Beneath Our Lady of Mt. Carmel are children and adults in purgatory; flames are licking at their bodies and they are asking Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to ask Jesus to let them enter into Heaven. There are angels pictured on the side that would lead the Holy Souls into Heaven. We know that anyone, who is in Purgatory is guaranteed entering into Heaven.

We have to be very careful what we tell children about Heaven because children are very literal; they listen even though they pretend not to and they go through a long stage where they appear to be budding lawyers because they do listen to every word, every article, and that is good. But, when talking about the life to come we have to speak very clearly. When my mom’s mother would have the ladies over, or her sisters over to do quilting, my mom would hang around under the quilt and listen to them talk. They would say in code that little pictures have big ears. In other words they needed to be careful what they said because there were children present. What we tell children about the life hereafter will have consequences on how they live right now.

For example, if we tell them that everyone goes to Heaven, most children would say, “Good, why bother with leading a moral life; we are all going to Heaven.” Or if we tell him or her that nobody goes to Heaven, then I guess all we have in this life is work and government and then we die so why even try? No, we don’t believe either of those extremes and we have to be careful what we say around children because they can be influenced by our errors, and those errors can bear terrible fruit.

Last Sunday, had it not been a Sunday, we would have celebrated the Feast of St. Maria Goretti. She was martyred about one hundred years ago in Italy. Her parents had moved from one farm to another and her father had worked very hard to keep the farm going. They lived above the barn and shared the area with a widower and his son, Alessandro Serenelli, who was nineteen years old. Eventually Mr. Goretti passed away but the crops still needed to be cultivated and brought in. Mrs. Goretti dedicated herself to the task and Maria took care of the siblings. Like Saint Bernadette, this young lady could barely read or write, but she made up for that with generosity.

Alessandro was continually influenced by what he heard and saw. From floor to ceiling in his room he had pornography. This was before TV so people just had this smeared all over their walls instead of watching it on TV or the computer as can be done today. Alessandro was always trying to influence Maria to go against the moral life that she was trying to live. She would always rebuff him and get away. She would remind him that what he was intending was a mortal sin.

One day while Maria’s mother was out in the fields on the tractor, Alessandro tried again and this time he wouldn’t take no for an answer. St. Maria again told him that it was a mortal sin and that he would go to Hell. A twelve year old is telling this to a nineteen-year-old man, right? And Maria was right; this is what the Catholic Church still teaches. Alessandro was so mad that he’d been told the truth he started stabbing her. The next day she succumbed to her many wounds.

Alessandro was very angry and would not admit his error to anyone and so he was sentenced to jail for a very long time. One night in a dream St. Maria appeared to him, touched his heart, and from there he was a different man altogether. He served his time as a model prisoner and after he was released he went to Mrs. Goretti and begged her forgiveness. He was even present when Pope Pius XII canonized Maria decades later in a Mass outside St. Peter’s Basilica, which had never been so filled with people up to that point.

Maria’s Feast day was last Sunday; very different from what the culture tell us today, or what passes for culture in our country and in the world. How many parents would have told Maria to go ahead and give in to Alessandro because at least that way their child would still be alive. Fortunately Maria made the choice and she was old enough to know the truth. She actually brought about the conversion of many by her purity.

On the front of the bulletin is a young man, who is going to be at World Youth Day. Like St. Maria Goretta and St. Therese, he didn’t make it to his 25th birthday. He was born to a very rich family just about the time St. Maria was killed. This is Pier Giorgio Frassati He is a blessed. He was buried in 1925 and exhumed in 1981. His body was found to be incorrupt. His body is at World Youth Day with the pope. This man was not a seminarian or a priest or even part of a religious order. What is the word? Oh yea, he was Baptized and he received the Sacraments.

On the back of the bulletin I have provided an article for you on Pier Giorgio. By reading this you can see how he lived. He used to tell his friends,

“To live without faith, without a patrimony of faith to defend, without a steady struggle for truth… that is not living, that is only existing.”

So many people float through life only existing, and thinking that it is virtuous.

“I am not a bad person…look, I am existing.”

Fulton Sheen used to say that there is nothing great in floating through life; even a dead body floats down stream.

Pier Giorgio went to Mass daily and received Holy Communion daily. Recently I was going over with a friend of mine, how the sisters at my school here in Dallas had mistreated me. You see they tricked me. School started at 8 am but there was Mass at 7:30 am, Monday through Friday. The sisters told us that it was expected that anyone within walking distance was to be at Mass. The kids who lived far away were “lucky”. Of course we don’t believe in luck. Anyway, these kids that lived far away got to roll in at five minutes until eight and I had to go to Mass. I was recounting that as a kid, I could have stayed home watching cartoons longer but instead I had to go to Mass. That wasn’t fair. I am hoping that living with such a burdensome child as I was took some years off my dad’s purgatory. I am sure it did. My mom is probably hoping for that too.

Getting back to Pier Giorgio; as I said he went to Mass and Holy Communion daily. He often made time to make a lengthy thanksgiving afterwards in Church. No one ordered him to do it. The article says,

He felt a strong urge to be near the Blessed Sacrament.

If you stand near the front door at Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or some other shopping center you see people who have experienced such a mysterious urge. Someone walks up and asks if they can help and the reply is, “No, I am just looking.” They are responding to this mysterious urge but the urge is not to be near the Blessed Sacrament, it is to be near something else.

The article goes on to say of Pier Giorgio,

During Adoration at night in Church he would spend all night on his knees in profound prayer.

I haven’t done that enough in my life and I bet you can say the same thing. Pier Giorgio loved to pray the rosary and he prayed it three times a day. I pray the rosary once a day and when I can actually get to a second or third rosary I think I am the pope. YES! Pier prayed three every day and he was 24 years old when he died.

Last year the pope was in Brazil, on May 15th, on the Feast of St. Isidore, talking to young people. What the pope said applies to adults and senior citizens. This is what he said.

These years of your life are the years, which will prepare you for your future. Your tomorrow depends on how much you are living the today of your youth. Stretching out in front of you my dear young friends, is a life that all of us hope will be long, yet it is only one life; it is unique. Do not let it pass in vein; do not squander it. Live it with enthusiasm and with joy, but most of all with a sense of responsibility.

When Blessed Miguel Augustine Pro died the streets were lined with the poor he’d helped. There was amazement about how many people came. The same thing happened in Italy when Pier Giorgio died. His rich parents saw all these poor men, women, and children, who came out for his funeral that had been helped personally by him in his short life. No doubt he’d been influenced by Saint John Bosco, who was like Father Flanagan in Boy’s Town, Nebraska. Peir Giorgio started helping boys in the 19th Century in Turin when no one else would help them. If you are not moved by examples such as St. Maria Goretti, St. Therese’ or Bl. Pier Giorgio then you have an indication of where you are in the spiritual life. You are nearly spiritually dead and the seed sown on rocky ground so to speak.

This man was young, talented, handsome, and he threw it all away to serve the poor. That is how many people think.

“I really like Pier Giorgio but I wouldn’t want MY son to do that. I would want him to do something important.”

Someone give me a gun! [Laughter] The fact is his body has been 56 years in the ground and incorrupt and we still need proof.

Look at what our Lord says in the middle of the Gospel. This is often overlooked, especially with bad translations like this one.

To any man who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from any man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

“But I am baptized, they have to let me into Heaven!”

Oh really? Well, what does Jesus say about that? Lets ask Him. If I am sitting on my baptism like an egg, not wanting it to hatch, not doing anything with my baptism as Pier Giorgio mentions, it isn’t going to work. God will take what I have and give it to someone who is already advancing in the spiritual life.

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.”

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

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