Pastor’s Homily - Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C (2019)

If you really want an honest answer to a complicated question, ask an 8-year old.

Like: “why do people in love hold hands?” This is what Gavin said: "They want to make sure their rings don't fall off, because they paid good money for them."

Or, “do you have some good advice about love?” Brandon said: "Be a good kisser. It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash."

And finally, “can anyone explain love and marriage? Manuel’s hand shot up: "I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful."

I have witnessed hundreds of marriages, and I think it would be an honest estimate that 9 out of every 10 couples choose St. Paul’s famous passage on love that we just heard—chapter 13, First Corinthians.

There are thirteen explanations of what love is and what love is not. Now, I don’t guess too many of you would love me, if I took the next hour to describe each definition. I mean we have a Super Bowl to watch.  So, let’s look at three.

Love is patient. Which does not mean letting oneself be constantly mistreated, disrespected, or taken for granted. People who suffer from impatience are often those who think that people ought to be perfect, or when they put themselves at the center of everything and expect things to turn out their way.

The best way to cultivate patience is to recognize that other people have the right to get to their destination as much as I do. Patience is the fruit of not giving other people the power to disturb your inner peace, unsettle your plans, annoy you by the way they act, or if someone turns out not to be everything you want them to be.

Love forgives. The opposite of resentment is forgiveness—which doesn’t ask one to excuse another’s bad behavior; rather, true forgiveness is a process of allowing another person to make-up, heal, and turn things around.  

And finally, love believes all things. Belief in the sense of what it means to trust. For example, the husband who presumes that their spouse is always suspicious, judgmental, and argumentative, will tend to keep secrets, conceal true feelings, and pretend to be someone other than who he real is. Trusting another person enables and encourages sincerity, openness, and transparency.

I’ve always believed that trust walks “hand in hand” with love. As they say, you can trust someone you don’t love (ever been on an airplane?), but you can never love someone, you don’t trust.

Have you ever thought of all the things you could never have accomplished in life without the help of another person? I bet our list would be very long.

 

“Hand in Hand in Ministry” is the theme for this year’s appeal. As our Bishop tells us: “As Catholics, each of us has received the invitation to join hands with other Catholics, as members of one community of faith, for the works of justice, mercy, outreach and formation in our Parishes, our Diocese and the global Church.

 

Our pledges to the ADA make possible the continued work of the Church— in Worship, Faith Formation, Seminary Education, Youth and Young Adults, Lay Leadership and Social Justice. “Love rejoices in the truth.”

 

Our financial gifts to the ADA make sure that the work of the Tribunal, Vocations, Evangelization, Ministry to the Sick and those in Prison, and providing care for our retired priests. “Love is patient and kind.”

 

Last year 792 families donated $325,000: an average gift of a little over $410. And because we went over our goal, close to $137,000 was returned to our parish to help us make improvements, repairs, and reduce parish debt.

 

This year, in consultation with the Finance and Facilities committees, we would like to build an outdoor pavilion on the vacant land right outside the church—an enjoyable and comfortable place to gather—safe from the summer sun, the spring rain, and the winter cold.

 

I am asking every family in our parish to make a pledge (to be paid all at once or over the next ten months) to help us reach our parish goal of $185,000, as we do our fair share in support of the ministry of Bishop McGrath & Bishop Cantu.

 

All registered parish families should have already received their ADA brochure and pledge envelope. If you did not receive one, there are extras in the back of the church.

 

I simply ask that you prayerfully consider being as generous as you can, by returning your pledge envelope when you come to Mass next weekend.

 

There are many beautiful expressions in the Scriptures about what the Church is called to be in our world, and this is my favorite: The Church “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

 

May our love for God, our love for life, our love for one another, and our love for the Church—be the love Christ has for us—a “love that never fails.”