Two Paths

(Homily for Twenty-Sixth Sunday - Year A)

Bottom line: A novena to help young people discover the path that leads to life.

Today's readings speak about two paths: One leads to sadness, isolation, impotence, rage - and death. The other path leads to purpose, communion, serenity, power - and life. We naturally want our young people to chose the second path - the one that leads to life.

This week we honor and pray for those who work with youth - especially the catechists in our school and religious education program. I ask you to join in praying a Novena for Youth. I designed the novena specifically for youth to help them discover God's plan in their lives.* Adults can also pray the novena - asking God's help for the young people they most care about. Since we are in the Year of St. Paul, the novena has a prayer asking his intercession. Each day has a Scripture reading from St. Paul's writings that focuses on a particular concern facing young people. Here is the prayer and the intentions for each of the nine days:

Novena for Youth

Glorious Apostle St. Paul,
Jesus called you to a life of dedicated service.
Following your example,
I confess that I am a sinner,
saved only by the merits of Jesus.
By your inspired words and prayers,
may I discover God's plan for my life.
Help me to overcome sadness, anxiety and fear
to serve God and my neighbor as you did
with confidence, joy and peace.

Nine Readings to Discover God's Plan

1. Rom 1:18-32 - Man Without God
2. Rom 12:1-21 - What Love Means
3. Gal 5:13-26 - Fruits of Flesh & Spirit
4. IICor 5:14-6:2 - Reconciliation
5. Rom 6:1-14 - Buried with Christ
6. ICor 6:9-20 - Body Not Your Own
7. ICor 11:23-31+Heb 10:25 - Worthy Communion
8. ITim 6:11-19+IICor 9:6-15- Generosity
9. Phil 2:1-18; 3:17-21 - Life in Christ

I invite young people and adults to join me in praying this novena. Today's Psalm says: "Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths." This novena will help young people - and adults - discover the path that leads to life.


*I was encouraged to write this novena because a number of people told me they benefited from the Novena in Honor of St. Paul. The Catholic Encyclopedia has an article explaining the origin and practice of making a novena:

"for every novena of preparation, as also for every novena of prayer, not only the best explanation but also the best model and example was given by Christ Himself to the Church in the first Pentecost novena. He Himself expressly exhorted the Apostles to make this preparation. And when the young Church had faithfully persevered for nine full days in it, the Holy Ghost came as the precious fruit of this first Christian novena for the feast of the establishment and foundation of the Church."

General Intercessions for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A (from Priests for Life)

Spanish Version

From Archives (Twenty-Sixth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2017: Mercifully Fair
2014: Trust No Matter What Week 1
2011: Our Final State
2008: Two Paths
2005: Unspeakable Love
2002: Determinism and Freedom
1999: Are God's Ways Unfair?

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)

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Everett 40 Days for Life

Parish Picture Album

(World Youth Day 2011)

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru