Bottom line: You and I - by the way we live - are called to be watchmen: to help others turn from destruction and turn toward the one source of hope, Jesus the Savior of humanity.
This weekend we have some difficult readings. The prophet Ezekiel tells us that if we do not dissuade a wicked man from his way, we will be held responsible. Similarly Jesus speaks about fraternal correction: A daunting task, particularly when a person considers his own sins, his own need for correction.
St. Francis addressed this issue. A man approached him and said, "Brother Francis, I am in a quandary. In the Bible it says we should rebuke sinners, but I see people sinning all the time. I don't feel like I should go around rebuking everybody."
St. Francis thought and then said, "What you must do is live in such a way that your life rebukes the sinner - how you act will call others to repentance."
You might be thinking, "That's easy enough for St. Francis, but I am not saint." Well, it may not be so complicated as you imagine. Once a man went into a restaurant and the waitress placed him at a table next to three girls. They were talking loud and swearing. It sometimes seems like women's equality means imitating the worst in men. The man wanted to say something, but he held his tongue. When his breakfast arrived, he bowed his head and made of the sign of the cross. The swearing stopped.
I think you see what I am saying. We do not need to go around constantly correcting others, but we do need to be watchmen. We will in some way be held responsible if we see others falling into destruction and we do nothing.
Pope Benedict gave a good example when he went to Madrid for World Youth Day. He began by addressing the situation in our world. He mentioned:
Then he added: "There are even some who, because of their faith in Christ, suffer discrimination which leads to contempt and persecution, open or hidden, which they endure in various regions and countries. They are harassed to give him up, depriving them of the signs of his presence in public life, not allowing even the mention of his holy name."
In the context of a world growing dark, Pope Benedict addressed the central issue of our day: "the culture of relativism." On the surface relativism seems nice. You have your opinion and I've got mine, so let's agree to disagree. And for sure we do not desire to impose our views on others. The problem, however, as Pope Benedict points out, is that the culture of relativism "has given up on the search for truth." Those who are loudest wind up imposing their viewpoint on the rest of us.* In the face of this culture of relativism Pope Benedict said:
"We need to speak with courage and humility of the universal significance of Christ as the Saviour of humanity and the source of hope for our lives."
Pope Benedict is the watchman for our times. The news media were befuddled that two million young people would make great sacrifices in order to listen to an eighty-four-year-old man. But they did not seek a man; they sought Christ. The pope is a watchman, pointing others to Christ.
You and I - by the way we live - are called to be watchmen: to help others turn from destruction and turn toward the one source of hope, Jesus the Savior of humanity. Amen.
*In his invaluable blog, Archbishop Dolan often addresses the issue of Faith in the Public Square. See also, Bishop Jenky: State of Illinois “At War” with Catholic Community Over Same-Sex Adoptions.
From Archives (for Twenty-third Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
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Fr. Brad's Homilies (well worth listening)
Parish Picture Album
(World Youth Day 2011)
Archbishop Timothy Dolan's World Youth Day... by danielhelen
Worth listening to, but please email me if you find a better quality video w/o advertisting.
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish
Our major daily newspaper did four different articles on our new archbishop. In each article they brought up the abuse of minors by priests. They never mention that we have had no new cases since 1988!
(For Bill Donohue's comments on "Snap Exposed" forward to 32:13)
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru