Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 5: 15-20
None of us like to be played as a fool or to be a fool. If you have been following the news in the past couple weeks, maybe we as Catholics are fools for placing our trust in our leadership to protect innocent people. In recent days there has been Archbishop McCarrick who abused seminarians and the investigation by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury which has uncovered over 300 priests who have abused innocent people. Perhaps someone has asked you, “What is going on in your Catholic Church?” Fr. Mike and I have had several discussions about this crisis and assure you that we are doing all we can to protect and keep everyone safe here at Holy Spirit Parish. On behalf of Fr. Mike & I want to say how sorry we are about these crimes against young people and others.
I was speaking to a priest friend who was feeling very sensitive about the crisis as he was called to a hospital to anoint a parishioner. As he was driving to the hospital, he had visions of people looking at him as a fool or calling him a fool or much worse. As my priest friend was leaving the parishioners room and he was heading to the elevator he heard someone call out, “Hey Father!” My friend thought, “Oh, boy here it comes!” As he looked up to face his accuser, he saw a big man, with work boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. The man came up to my priest friend extended his hand and said, “Father, I want to thank you for all that you do for us!” My friend got on the elevator and began to cry, and he gave thanks to God for being a priest. He also prayed no one else got on the elevator.
My friends in Christ what has been done to children and others are a tragedy, and the Church is doing everything it can with a special meeting coming up in November in Baltimore. None of us what to be a fool and our readings encourage us to do something when we are fools.
In our first reading from the book of Proverbs, Lady Wisdom is inviting everyone to her celebration. It is an invitation to everyone to seek wisdom. We all need to seek wisdom.
In our second reading, St. Paul is calling all people to a higher standard when he says, “Be careful how you live, what you think, what you do, and what you say!” Do all things in the name of Jesus Christ, and he will give you wisdom
In our Gospel, the people think Jesus is a fool because he says, “I am the bread of life.” The reality of the situation is, the people are the fools because Jesus has told them, he has shown them and they still do not believe.
People may say to us, “You are a fool for putting your faith in people who abuse children and others.” Might I agree with them? However, what I will never agree with is when someone says, “You are a fool for believing that simple bread and wine is changed into the body and blood of Christ.” I will never make excuses for what we believe in the Eucharist because this is the place where true healing can take place, where those who are hurting can find comfort, where those who are happy can find joy. Maybe it is foolish not to believe in a God whom has the power to change our very lives.