Everything Else is Small Potatoes

(Homily, 26th Sunday, Year)

This Sunday we are fortunate to have with us the man who will be giving our parish mission on the third weekend of October. You have already seen the posters and bulletin announcements and know that he and his partner John Schweisthal are full time Catholic lay evangelists. They gave up their jobs, took a leap in the dark, because they saw a great need in our church. I have heard so many good things about him from my brother priests and Catholics here in the Archdiocese about the parish missions they give. Before presenting him to you, I would like to say a brief word about the Gospel we have just heard.

Jesus tells the greatest thing we can hope for is to go to heaven--even if it means losing something as precious as our hand, our foot, our eye. On the other side, we can have everything and still fall into what he calls "Gehenna" the unquenchable fire of hell. The doctrine of hell was not something invented by the Church; it comes right from the lips of Jesus himself. He is telling us that this life is serious. This is our one chance. Don't let anyone mislead you--there will not be re-incarnations. We have to decide now where we will spend eternity. Everything else is small potatoes.

St. James reminds us that what we possess will not save us, maybe just the opposite, drag us down. A few years ago one of the world's richest men, Howard Hughes, died. He was completely alone, afraid of being poisoned or contaminated. In contrast earlier this month a woman died who possessed almost nothing. She was surrounded by her sisters and beloved by millons, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I doubt any of us will be as rich as Howard Hughes--or as voluntarily poor as Mother Teresa but what matters in the long run, is not what we have, but our relationship with God.

That why we need this parish mission: to get our own lives together, to put our families back on the right track--and to become the parish we are meant to be. The theme of the mission, which will take place Oct 17,18, 19 is "Becoming One in Jesus." I am delighted to welcome the man who will be leading it, Brian Casey.

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See also: An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm

The Fiery Furnace

Jesus Teaching Concerning Heaven

From Archives (Homilies for 26th Sunday, Year B):

2015: Discernment of Spirits Week 5: Keeping Focus
2012: Spiritual War
2009: Gehenna
2006: Whoever Is Not Against Us
2003: Giving and Taking Scandal
2000: False Comfort
1997: Everything Else is Small Potatoes

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Fr. Brad's Homilies

Fr. Jim's Homilies

Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")

Bulletin (September 2015)

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Parish Picture Album

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St. Mary of the Valley Album

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