St Francis Q&A

Sunday, September 28, 2008

26th Sunday - homily

Today's Gospel story hits the nail on the head about our struggle to make commitments and keep them. We have a hard time saying yes and living it out. I would like to tell a "story" about someone who always said yes to God's Will and lived it out. You might have heard this one before. It's when Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders about the woman caught in adultery. He says (the famous line), "let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone". The leaders all drop their rocks and stones. Then, one stone is launched from the back of the group and lands nowhere near the woman, falling harmlessly to the ground. Jesus looks to see who threw it, shakes his head, sighs, and says, "Geez, Mom...! I'm trying to make a point here."

Mary always said yes to God's Will and lived it out. The rest of us are like the two sons from the Gospel, struggling with yes and no. I would like to focus on a moment - a big moment - when we say yes. It involves my favorite part of being a priests: Confession. In Confession, the person is saying yes to God - saying yes to His mercy, saying yes to going deeper in friendship with Him, saying yes to His love - while confessing all the times he or she had said no to Him.

It's a tremendous privilege for me to give God's yes to the person. First, it is in the form of advice or counsel, when I encourage and affirm the person and point out that their yes in coming to Confession trumps all their no's (all of their sins). And, that's the way that God sees it. Then, of course, is God's big yes - His forgiveness which comes in the form of the absolution.

God has always said yes to us. He said yes to us when He created us. He said yes to us when He saved us. He said yes to each one of us from the Cross. If we look at a crucifix, we see that Jesus' body is in the form of a 'Y' - He said yes to each one of us. He continues to say yes to us in Confession. He continues to say yes to us in the Eucharist; He continues to give us his life, His very Body and Blood.

May the grace of this Eucharist help us to say yes to Him. May we say yes to His Will and live it out. When we say yes to God, we say yes to His life, His mercy, His friendship, and His love.


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