Homily Rerun: 28th Sunday 2018 Wis. 7:7-11; Heb. 4:12-13; Mk. 10-17-30
Teacher Teach (Fr. Bill)
GO / SELL / GIVE / COME / FOLLOW
These five points, which Jesus teaches in response to being asked how to gain eternal life, form a good, reoccurring patter for daily life as a disciple of Jesus. It works for vacations and retirement, for work and school, for everyday life as a follower of Jesus. In daily life we can pick up this pattern with any one of the five points, which overlap each other a great deal.
GO: It starts with going forth from the comfort of your bed in the morning and then leaving behind the security of your home. We must go forth from every success – and from every failure. We must go forth from Mass into the mission fields of the world beginning right here in Ormond Beach, Florida. We can’t stay in church holding hands and enjoying our personal relationship with Jesus.
SELL: In this context this means reaping the harvest from all your talents and abilities and gifts. It requires putting your whole self into whatever you do so as to exact a maximum return for all that you are and all that you do. Sell out for the team. Sell out for school. Sell out for work. Three illustrations:
- From Sports: A few years back there was a movie about a high school football team that had won 250
games without a loss, a true story of the longest winning streak in American sports. The coach taught his players: “You cannot play a perfect game. But you can make a perfect effort on every play; and if you do so you will be perfect for that game and you can hold your head high win or lose.” In the movie he tells his wife that he is not teaching boys how to play a game; he is teaching boys how to become men of character.
- Mother Theresa said, “God does not require of us success but fidelity.” If we are steadfast in our
fidelity then He would supply the success where it will do the most good.
- From Monastic Life: A young monk wanting to be holy visits the old, holy hermit monk and finds him
sweeping the floor. He says to him, “Father, What must I do to be holy?” To which the old monk replies: “Why, sweep the floor, of course.” When the young monk begins to protest, “But Father, I don’t understand…” the old monk waves him off with his hand saying, “That is enough for today.”
The very next day the young monk returns as the old monk is doing the dishes after his noon meal. He expresses himself more dramatically, “Father, you have achieved the greatest holiness of all the monks of this monastery. Please tell me the way to holiness.” The old monk replies, “Wash the dishes.” As the young monk begins to protest his lack of understanding the old monk once again waves him off saying, “That is enough for today.”
The young monk forces himself to wait a couple days but finally bursts through the door of the old monk as he is mending the laundry and proclaims, “Father, please! I must know the way to holiness so that I can follow it.” To which the old monk replies, “Mend the laundry.” And then adds, “And don’t come back for at least a month.”
One month to the day the young monk returns and quietly enters the monastic cell of the old monk. He says calmly, “Father in thinking and praying about your words I am beginning to think that I must do whatever I do with all my heart and soul, with all my mind and strength.” To which the old monk smiled and replied, “You have set out on the path to holiness.”
GIVE: What you have reaped from the selling now give away, all of it. The model or standard for this is Jesus giving Himself for us on the cross and to us in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. Jesus started this in the Incarnation when He gave Himself totally to becoming one of us.
COME: Come to Jesus, always and in everything and everyone. No exceptions! Daily prayers are part of this (morning and night, before and after meals, in the car, at the start of class, before and during games, etc.) ADORATION before JESUS in the BLESSED SACRAMENT is the preeminent way of doing this. This is not just spiritual but also physical; it is fully human. You come to Jesus and just say, “Hi.” Really! Before I get to this point I usually have to unload a whole lot of requests, and thank-you-s, and worries, and all sorts of other stuff. But once I have emptied all that out I am ready to just say, “Hi.” And He says, “Hi” back to me. No, I don’t say that word and I do not hear a voice – but that is the only way I know to describe the reality I experience. Jesus is present in the Bread of Life. You come to Him in the Blessed Sacrament and you will discover that He is/was always with you.
FOLLOW ME: Now that you have sold and given everything you are ready for the total commitment of following Jesus. Come to Jesus empty and exhausted so that He can fill you and refresh you. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If not seeking a way You are not following Him. If not seeking the truth you are not following Him. If not seeking life, respecting life, living life to the full you are not following Him. We must remain disciples, followers of Jesus, even when we become apostles and go forth in His name.
In Conclusion: Song: “Teacher Teach”
Refrain: Teacher! Teacher! Tell me true. / Teacher teach me what to do.
Through the needle I must go; / Teacher teach me how to sow.
1st Verse: Go! Sell! Give! Come! Follow Me. / To eternal life I lead
with God's love incredible / through the eye impossible.
2nd Verse: Go! Sell! Give! Come! Follow Me. / Through the needle I will lead.
On the cross I teach the Way; / love each other every day.