Follow Me

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion for September 13, 2015

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion for September 13, 2015, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

__________________________________________________________________________

Every person must ultimately say who Jesus is for them, and there are only two possibilities: He is either Christ the Lord – God come to earth, or He is just an unconventional Jewish rabbi. If the latter, there is no point in our being here this morning, and we can go our own way in life and see what happens. But if He is God – and He is – then our fulfillment in this life and our eternal destiny in the next depend upon our following Him.

And, Jesus says, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."[1] Four things He says we must do: deny ourself, take up our cross, follow Him, and lose our life for His sake and that of the Gospel. What do these mean?

1. To deny ourself means to forego our own purposes and pleasures in favor of the Lord's.

Anna Katharine Emmerich grew up in poverty in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries. She loved Jesus and often walked the outdoor Way of the Cross. She had a striking love for others, too, knowing, as St. James said: what good is it to assert faith in Christ and not help a brother or sister in need?[2] Ultimately, Anna denied herself entirely for Christ by becoming a nun, still helping others, and receiving visits from the Lord, as well as His painful stigmata.[3] Her life of self-denial "instructed [others] in loving dedication to Jesus."[4] She was declared Blessed in 2004.[5]

2. To take up our cross means to accept trials and suffering for Christ's sake.

Chiara Badano (chee-'ar-uh bah-'dan-no), born in Italy in 1971, was a very kind and giving person with a deep love for Jesus. Diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, she said if this is what Jesus wants, then I want it too. She died in 1990 at the age of 19 and was declared Blessed in 2010.[6]

3. To follow Christ means to live as He lived and to do what He asks us to do.

Bartholomew Longo was an exceptionally bright attorney, a renaissance man in 19th century Europe caught up in many worldly activities, who wandered into the occult and deadly Satanism. By God's grace and a repentant return to Christ through the Rosary, he spent the rest of his life ardently following Christ, teaching college students the dangers of the occult, helping the poor, and building a shrine, where miracles began to occur.[7] He was declared Blessed in 1980.

4. To lose our life for Christ's sake and that of the Gospel means living fully for the Lord and not for our own worldly good. For some Christians, it also literally means martyrdom.

Pedro Calungsod was a teenage Philippino catechist in the 17th century. When attackers came for the missionary priest he was helping (in Guam), Pedro could have fled, but he stayed and was killed for his Catholic faith. He was canonized in 2012.[8]

Do we want all that Christ promises? Do we want to please Him and be holy like these four Blessed followers of His? A Secret to holiness is love of Christ.[9] If we love Him, we will deny ourself, live for Him and others, and accept trials, suffering, and even death for His sake.

Blessed Nemesia Valle (ne-'may-zia 'vah-lay) (of Italy) said last century: "Holiness does not consist in doing many things or great things.... Those who entirely spend themselves each day, wherever they are, for the Lord, are holy."[10]

This week, let us:

1. Ask the Lord to help us love Him more deeply; then

2. Deny ourself, take up our Cross, and follow Him more closely, losing our life for His sake and that of the Gospel.

[1] Mk 8:35.

[2] Jm 2:14-18.

[3] http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20041003_emmerick_en.html.

[4] Pope St. John Paul II, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2004/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20041003_beatifications_en.html.

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Catherine_Emmerich.

[6] http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2010/october/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20101003_palermo-giovani_en.html; http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/tag/rome/page/3.

[7] http://saints.sqpn.com/blessed-bartholomew-longo/.

[8] http://pedrocalungsod.org/index.php/life/76; http://pedrocalungsod.org/index.php/news/1-latest-news/84-schedule-of-activites-in-rome.

[9] See http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2004/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20040425_beatifications_en.html.

[10] http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2004/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20040425_beatifications_en.html; http://saints.sqpn.com/saintg1i.htm.

Tags: clergy corner, homiliy
 

Clergy Corner

Read our Clergy Corner blog.


Recent

Salvation

Saturday, February 13, 2021
When God created the human race, He made them fully alive and fully healthy, "to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth" (Gen 1:28).... Read More

Change Now, for the Kingdom is Here!

Sunday, January 24, 2021
In creating the world, God’s loving purpose was to establish His Kingdom by sharing the gift of His life with His creation. When Jesus said,... Read More

Journey

Sunday, January 3, 2021
Like all of us, these astrologers too were in constant search after human fulfillment, but they believed that only in the Savior Jesus they could... Read More

Family

Sunday, December 27, 2020
On this Sunday following the Nativity of the Lord, we are joyfully celebrating the Holy Family of Nazareth. It is a most suitable context because... Read More

We Are Almost There!

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.” We are almost there! We have... Read More

God is Already Here ... Do You Recognize Him?

Friday, December 11, 2020
We hear people saying to us, "we must put God in our lives," but God is already here! Our business is to recognize Him. "There is... Read More

Make Advent 2020 Your Best!

Saturday, November 28, 2020
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert!" This should be our personal motto or theme for Advent 2020! We have finally made... Read More

Our Indifference Hurts Jesus the Most

Saturday, November 21, 2020
Many people are becoming forgetful about so many things, particularly about God. How many of us still remember the truth that "the earth is... Read More

We can truly grow richer in grace because God is so very generous

Saturday, November 14, 2020
This Sunday we are told the Parable of the Talents.  In the end, two of the servants worked hard using what they had received to produce... Read More

Indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Friday, November 6, 2020
I’d like to start by taking us on a little trip through Canon Law. Canon 992: “An indulgence is the remission before God of... Read More

Ordinary People - that is Precisely what Saints Are!

Sunday, November 1, 2020
Ordinary people - that is precisely what saints are! Saints are ordinary persons like you and me. They too had sinned and had their share of human... Read More

Love Your Neighbor a Yourself

Sunday, October 25, 2020
Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus considered love of neighbor "his commandment," that which summarizes the whole Law. "This is... Read More

Paid for by JESUS 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020
Brothers and Sisters, In today’s Gospel, we see yet again people intent on trying to entrap Jesus. Why? Why are people so threatened by Him?... Read More

God has a Plan for this Bankrupt World

Saturday, October 10, 2020
In spite of all appearances to the contrary, God has a plan for this bankrupt world. He knows what He is going to make of this world. His plan is... Read More

Total Commitment to the Lord

Friday, September 18, 2020
The life of a Christian whose commitment to the Lord is not total is a waste. St. Paul was a totally committed apostle so that he could assure his... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!