Monsignor Yennock's Homily February 23, 2020 - Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time, Sunday before Lent

Feb 24, 2020

SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

7TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

FEBRUARY 23, 2020

SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE, LOVE ME. SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE, LOVE ME. THIS PLEA WAS WRITTEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THE DIARY OF MADALYN MURRAY O’HAIR. MADALYN MURRAY O’HAIR WAS ONE OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN ATHEISTS IN AMERICA. IN 1963 MRS. O’HAIR WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUPREME COURT DECISION TO THROW PRAYER OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

IN 1995 MRS. O’HAIR DISAPPEARED WITH $500,000 FROM ONE OF HER ATHEIST ORGANIZATIONS. NO ONE HAD HEARD FROM HER UNTIL THE FBI FOUND THE BODY OF MRS. O’HAIR IN TEXAS. SHE HAD BEEN MURDERED, DISMEMBERED AND BURIED IN A FIELD.

WHAT A VIOLENT AND SAD ENDING TO A WOMAN WHO NEEDED LOVE DESPERATELY.

SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE LOVE ME. MADALYN MURRAY O’HAIR WAS MAKING A PLEA TO THE WORLD BUT YET WOULD NOT ALLOW A LOVING GOD INTO HER LIFE.

YOU KNOW SOMETHING. YOU AND I HAVE A DESIRE FOR INFINITE LOVE. WE HAVE THAT DESIRE BECAUSE THERE IS AN INFINITE GOD WHO CAN GIVE US THAT LOVE. WHEN JESUS SAYS IN TODAY’S GOSPEL: BE PERFECT AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT HE IS TALKING ABOUT INFINITE LOVE.

SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE LOVE ME. GOD WHO IS INFINITE LOVE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SATISFY THE DESIRES OF THE HUMAN HEART.

YOU AND I ARE ENTERING THIS SEASON OF LENT WITH FAITH THAT A LOVING GOD IS CALLING US TO A JOURNEY OF LOVE WITH HIM. LENT IS A TIME TO EXAMINE OUR JOURNEY WITH THE LIVING GOD.

WE ARE ALL IN DIFFERENT PLACES AS WE ENTER THAT JOURNEY.

FOR A FEW MOMENTS TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THOSE PLACES WHERE HE IS LIKELY TO FIND US AS WE WALK THAT ROAD.

I ATTEND MASS EVERY SUNDAY AND RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, BUT I FEEL AN EMPTINESS, A LACK OF FULFILLMENT. SOMETIMES I EVEN FEEL BORED. MY SPIRITUAL LIFE IS FLAT. I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, IT SEEMS I WAS MORE DEVOUT. I REMEMBER WHEN LENT WAS A MUCH MORE FERVENT TIME FOR ME. IT WAS ALMOST EXCITING.  I OFTEN THINK, IF I COULD ONLY REGAIN SOME OF THE EXCITEMENT THAT I HAD IN MY YOUNGER DAYS.

 

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: GO TO DAILY MASS DURING LENT. VOLUNTEER YOUR SERVICES AT EMMAUS MINISTRY, OR LITERACY VOLUNTEERS, OR ONE OF THE HOMES FOR ABUSED WOMEN AND CHILDREN OR CATHOLIC CHARITIES. GOD MAY FIND AN OPENING IN YOU TO RECEIVE HIS LOVE.  

 

I AM CONFUSED ABOUT MY FAITH. I SEE AND HEAR SO MUCH IN THE MEDIA THAT IS CONTRADICTORY AND CONFUSING. I AM DISILLUSIONED BY SCANDALS AND CORRUPTION IN THE HIGHEST PLACES. I WONDER SOMETIMES WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. I’VE BEEN LAX IN THE PRACTICE OF MY FAITH. SOMETIMES I THINK I’M JUST A CULTURAL CHRISTIAN AND MY FAITH IS NO DEEPER THAN MY SKIN. IF PUT TO THE TEST, I WONDER WHAT I WOULD DO.

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: THIS MAY BE A GOOD TIME TO SHARE YOUR CONFUSION AND FEAR WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN A BIBLE GROUP OFFERED BY YOUR PARISH OR RENEWAL CENTER. YOUR JOURNEY OF FAITH DESERVES MORE ATTENTION. READ THE BIBLE, DAILY. READ THE LIFE OF A SAINT. START READING THE CATHOLIC PRESS EVERY WEEK TO SEE HOW THE CHURCH IS AFFECTING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. LEARN FROM THE FAITH OF OTHER PEOPLE.

 

THIS HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT YEAR FOR ME BECAUSE OF SICKNESS. I’VE HAD A DEATH IN THE FAMILY THAT I JUST CAN’T GET OVER. I HAVE HAD FINANCIAL SETBACKS THIS YEAR. I JUST CAN’T SEEM TO GET AHEAD. I HAVE BEEN DISCOURAGED AND DEPRESSED. I KEEP ASKING MYSELF: WHERE IS GOD?

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: BECOME PART OF A PRAYER GROUP WHERE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT. MAYBE YOU NEED TO COMMIT YOURSELF TO THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS WHERE YOU REFLECT ON YOUR LIFE AGAINST THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST. SPEND SOME TIME IN THE PERPETUAL ADORATION CHAPEL. JUST SIT THERE AND INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR LIFE. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DOING THAT FOR CENTURIES AND HAVE FOUND GREAT CONSOLATION AND HEALING. THE GOD OF LOVE IS WAITING FOR YOU.

 

I HAVE EXPERIENCED PROBLEMS WITH MY CHILDREN THIS YEAR. I CAN’T SEEM TO HANDLE THEIR ATTITUDE ON DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND PORNOGRAPHY. MY CHILDREN HAVE NO GOAL, NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND NO SENSE OF RESPECT OR REVERENCE. SOMETHING IS WRONG. THIS FAMILY SEEMS TO BE OUT OF CONTROL. WHAT AM I TO DO?

 

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: HAVE A FAMILY MEETING. NO ONE IS EXCUSED. BEGIN WITH SERIOUS PRAYER ASKING GOD FOR GUIDANCE AND HEALING.  MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO HAVE A FAMILY MEAL TOGETHER.

PRAY AND READ SCRIPTURE AT THAT MEAL. MAKE SURE THAT EVERY PERSON AT THAT TABLE HEARS THAT HE OR SHE IS LOVED.

 

WE ARE HAVING MARITAL PROBLEMS. MY WIFE AND I ARE NOT COMMUNICATING AT A GOOD LEVEL. THERE IS A LOT OF TENSION, BITTERNESS AND HURT. WE NEED COUNSELLING BUT NEITHER ONE OF US WANTS TO DO THAT. WE CAN’T GO ON LIKE THIS. WHERE WILL HELP COME FROM?

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: BEGIN BY GOING TO CONFESSION. RECONCILE WITH GOD FIRST. ASK FOR HIS FORGIVENESS AND HEALING. HEALING IS A PROCESS. TRUST GOD THAT MORE THINGS ARE WROUGHT BY PRAYER THAN THIS WORLD DREAMS OF. PRAY TOGETHER. THE BLESSED MOTHER IS APPEARING TO PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD CALLING THEM TO THE FAMILY ROSARY. DON’T BE AFRAID OF COUNSELLING IF YOU NEED IT. A LOVING GOD GIVES US PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP US.

GOD HAS TRULY BLESSED OUR FAMILY THIS YEAR WITH GOOD HEALTH, GOOD FRIENDS, SOUND FINANCES AND IN EVERY OTHER WAY, BUT I HAVEN’T REALLY THANKED HIM ENOUGH. SOMETIMES I’M AFRAID. I FEEL AFRAID—LIKE THIS GOOD FORTUNE IS ALL GOING TO END.

 

PERHAPS THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU: FAST, MAKE LITTLE SACRIFICES, GIVE UP SOME THINGS AND PUT THE MONEY IN THE RICE BOWL FOR THE HUNGRY. CONSIDER TAKING A FOSTER CHILD INTO YOUR HOME AND SHARE YOUR GOOD FORTUNE. YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER. SO MANY CHILDREN NEED YOUR LOVE.

 

SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE LOVE ME.  GOD IS THE SOURCE OF ALL LOVE.  HE LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS LIFE TO PROVE IT. LENT IS A TIME TO CHECK OUR CONNECTION TO THAT GOD OF LOVE. MAKE THIS JOURNEY WITH HIM.  DO NOT WASTE THIS SEASON OF GRACES. IT MAY BE YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY.