Homily for October 1

Homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scriptures for today's Mass

Audio for homily

No doubt about it! 

I’m much more the second son, not the first.
I usually have the best of intentions.
I generally want to do the right thing.
I plan to do the right thing.
I say I'm going to do the right thing.
I’m very good at reassuring myself that I am, indeed,
going to do what I know I should do.
I tell the Lord I’m going to do what I know he wants me to do.

But then…  I put it off:
whatever it is I wanted to do, needed to do or was told to do.
I put off doing it.   I avoid it.     I take a nap first. 

I tell myself I’ll get to it tomorrow, or the next day
or next week or next month or next year…
Or I get busy with other things
(sometimes with good things
and sometimes with not so good things).
I find some way
to get out of doing what I said I’d do,
what I’m supposed to do, what I meant to do.

And sometimes I put off doing whatever it was long enough
that I end up forgetting what it was I wanted to do,
what I planned to do,  what I promised the Lord I’d do.

Like the second son in the gospel story, I say, “YES! I’ll do that."
But I don’t follow through.
And I repeat this failure over and over again.
- I tell myself I’m going to pray more.
But I don’t.
- I’ve got some bad habits I want to put an end to.
But I don’t.
- I have responsibilities waiting to be taken on.
But I push them aside.
- I promise to be more generous
with my time, my money and  my talents.
But I’m not.
- I’ve got character flaws I resolve to work on.
But then I don’t.
- I’ve made promises I haven’t fulfilled.
But I continue to fail in keeping my word.

And I don’t think I’m the only one here with this problem.
It’s a problem as old as the parables of Jesus.
We want to do the right thing… but we don’t.
We want to change… but we don’t.
We want to do more than just say “I will!”
But we don’t.

How can we break this vicious circle?
What might get us at least to the level of the first son
who said he wasn’t going to do what was asked of him --
but then had a change of heart - and followed through?
The clue to an answer is in the second scripture today.
Recall these words: 
Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus…
who emptied himself… who humbled himself… 

Might we pray to empty ourselves of our false promises
and invite the Lord to come in and make the changes
we seem unable to make on our own?
Would you pray for that with me?  Pray with me now?
Pray with me this morning?
Would you take a moment
(and a moment’s all it probably takes)
to call to mind those things each of us wants to do,
needs to do, ought to do, promises to do -   but we don’t?
Will you pray with me
for a change of mind and heart in all of us?
If it helps, close your eyes… 

Let us pray… 
Lord, some things in my life need changing
and I wish these changes would happen over night
but change comes slowly to me -
perhaps because I come slowly to change...

Help me change, Lord.
Open me to the changes I want to make,
to the changes you want me to make in my life…

Change me from the inside out, Lord,
reboot my heart until it beats in rhythm with yours;
change my thinking
until my thoughts are in sync with your thoughts,
your word and your wisdom... 

Stretch me, Lord, to be the person you call me to be;
stretch me until I’m satisfied with nothing less
than being the person you created me to be...

Open my eyes, Lord, to see your hands at work in my life
helping me to change, every day...

Open my ears to hear your voice guiding me
through the changes I need to make...

Open my mouth, Lord, to pray,
to ask for your help with the changes I most need to make...

Open my mind, Lord,
to know and understand what you ask of me
and how my thinking needs to change… 

Open my hands, Lord, to work for the change
that will serve and rescue and lift up others… 

Open me up to changes you see that I need to make
in areas of my life where I’m completely content
and not yet aware of changes you’d have me make…

Open my heart, Lord, to your Holy Spirit
shaping, shifting, changing me from within... 

So many things in my life need changing, Lord:
heal and mend, and reform and repair
whatever’s wounded and torn, bent and broken in me...

Change me, Lord:  open and empty and humble my heart
for the sake of all whose paths cross mine:
help me serve those in need,
cheer those in sorrow, 
comfort those who grieve,
stand with those who are alone,
and rejoice with those whose hearts are glad… 

You emptied yourself, Lord,
you humbled yourself on the Cross,
becoming obedient even to the point of death.

We come now to your table, Lord,
where your Spirit changes our gifts of bread and wine,
and makes of them your Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

With the food of this sacrament, change us, too, Lord,
and make of us the people you call us to be.



Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!