A priest was celebrating his 60th anniversary. I knelt down and said, "Father, I really need your blessing." When I opened my eyes after it was done he was kneeling next to me and said, "Now Father, I really need your blessing." I did not ask him how he stayed faithful for 60 years, for someone who humbled himself like that already gave the answer. To say Yes to God and to mean it all humility is the answer to faithful committed love.
Listen to my homily for today:
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Yet in the readings for today's Mass, the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus is not talking about those who say yes, mean yes, and keep it. He is talking about the terrible tendency we have from original sin to hide our sin, to cover it up.
Who is the one who prays, "Thank you God that I am faithful, that I am not like other men"? Do you recognize this prayer? Do you recognize it from your own heart? If you do it this parable from Jesus is taylor made for you. It is the prayer of the Pharisee who walked away from the temple unjustified before God, not pleasing in his sight, while the Publican, who prayed, "Have mercy on me Lord, a sinner," walked away justified in the sight of God.
God's answer to our unfaithful tendency is the Sacraments, especially the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Sacraments. Sacramentum in Latin actually means a sworn covenant oath to say YES to God, while remembering that he never allows us to commit to something without him declaring to keep his promise to grant us the grace to be faithful.
People make these sacramental vows in Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders. We are surrounded by those who don't keep their promises. IN the Eucharist God washes us free of our tendency of unfaithfulness so that his blood reaches into the inner recesses of the roots of our infidelity to make us begin to be faithful. This is true spiritual worship, to offer our weakness and tendency to God so that by it he can cement us deeper into his mercy.
May the prayers of Our Lady help us to offer ourselves as pleasing sacrifices to God to make us faithful.