Be My Rock

(Homily for Ninth Ordinary Sunday, Year A)

Bottom line: Jesus, be my rock: Give me the grace to accept you - and live according to your word.

The story is told about a shipwreck. One of the sailors, thrown from boat, flailed about in the water, thinking he would surely drown. As he moved his arms, trying to stay afloat, he felt something solid about a foot below the water level. He grabbed it and, even though the sea was churning around him, he managed to hold on. When dawn finally arrived - and the tide had gone out - he realized he was holding onto a rock some distance from the shore. A boat came to rescue him. They asked him, "Didn't you shake with fear when you were hanging on that rock."

"Yes," he replied, "but the rock didn't."

In today's responsorial psalm we prayed, "Be my rock." You and I are like that sailor - tossed about on a dark sea. Like him, our one hope is reaching out for that rock - and holding tight when we find it. Morning will arrive.

Most of us have been tossed around enough that we know there is no lasting security in this world. But, even though we realize that intellectually, it somehow does not penetrate our hearts. We keep thinking that some thing or some person will give us what we need. Maybe if I just had a little bit more money, everything would be fine. A study showed that the typical American believes that if he had just ten percent more income, he would be happy.* You and I know that is an illusion. Somebody figured out that the average CEO in the United States earns 411 times the amount of his ordinary employee. And they still want more! No amount of money - no person, place or thing will give lasting happiness. There is only one who can give us true security. Jesus, be my rock.

In today's second reading, St. Paul unmasks another kind of false security. He warns about the deception of legalism - the idea that if I somehow do everything letter perfect then no one can criticize me, not even God. Legalism leads to the mentality that I've always got to be right. No, you and I will not be saved by being right - or even by doing right. None of us can make ourselves right with God. As Fr. John Waldrep said last weekend, "God does not love us because we are lovable." God loves us because of of his Son. Jesus, be my rock.

Blessed Mother Teresa knew that. Few people did more for the poor than Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. But she knew that works would not save her. She recognized her poverty before God. We now know from her letters that Blessed Mother Teresa experienced a prolonged inner darkness. During that dark night, she clung to the only one who could save her. Jesus was her rock.

Jesus, be my rock. I want to build my life on a rock foundation. Jesus speaks about that in the Gospel. It is not enough just to say, "Lord, Lord," and then go on as if Jesus didn't matter. No, we have live according to his Word. That means such things as respecting marriage - not using the gift of sexuality apart from God's plan. It means worshiping God in the way he has established - by attending Sunday Mass. Mass is the renewal of the one sacrifice that saves us. As we worship Jesus, we ask for grace to live according to his word. Jesus, be my rock.


"one of our most enduring cultural beliefs is that another 10 percent to 20 percent increase in income would make each one of us perfectly happy." See Happiness is… - the sad phenomenon of people getting richer, but not happier

Spanish Version

From Archives (Ninth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2011: Knowing Jesus - and Being Known by Him
2008: Be My Rock

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Bulletin (Combating global warming, Pictures of new principal & parochial vicar, Quo Vadis, News from Niece Sara)


Updates on Traditional Latin Mass at Holy Family Parish, Seattle

Corpus Christi Procession

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann responds to questions about his request that Governor Sebelius not receive Communion until she had sought to repair the public scandal of her long-standing support for legalized abortion.

Related article: KS Governor's Office Covers up Secret Party Honoring Abortionist Tiller

Prostaglandin Abortion: Fr. Frank Pavone introduces Dr. Byron Calhoun's examination of babies killed by prostaglandin abortions. (not for the faint of heart)

Dawn writes about her hospitalization: I was so happy for the opportunity to do something like what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen had done when he was hospitalized for open-heart surgery. (well worth reading)

my bulletin column

SMV Bulletin (be patient - sometimes we have problems uploading)

Parish Picture Album

Separated at birth?

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World Over - Unplanned - Raymond Arroyo w Abby Johnson and Fr. Willy Raymond

Letter from Pro-Life Leaders to House Speaker John Boenher:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

Planned Parenthood, a scandal-plagued abortion organization, must be held accountable for abusing innocent young victims while receiving hundreds of millions in federal dollars each year.

They must be defunded of federal tax dollars, and now is the time to do it. The House vote in support of Rep. Mike Pence’s Amendment No. 11 to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1) to prevent government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is an excellent start.

However, the House vote on the Pence Amendment is nothing more than symbolic unless it remains intact through the legislative process. Defunding Planned Parenthood must be a non-negotiable in the Continuing Resolution and we urge you to accept nothing less than this outcome.

The fact that Planned Parenthood was caught aiding and abetting sex traffickers proves that it is not safe for women and young girls. What goes on in offices and clinics of Planned Parenthood, as Live Action's videos show is both saddening and shocking. That it has often been done using taxpayer dollars is indefensible...

Archbishop Dolan: Unpleasant Truths

U.S. Bishops Conference Decries Refusal to Support Defense of Marriage Act