I will serve: A homily for the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

altar.jpgToday God says– “Decide TODAY whom you will serve”

A Christian is one who serves in the pattern of Jesus, one who gives his life for others…

How do we know if we are serving God?  Answer:  If we are serving others!

Matthew 25…..for I was hungry and you gave me bread, thirsty….

In other words, when peopel look at you–do they say, “Now THAT is a person who serves!  Anytime I need something, they’re there. That’s one of the ones who always volunteers, who’s always to be counted upon.”??

family life … 2nd reading, depend on each other

I think about my Granny.  My grandma was that way—altar society, treasurer of every group, knit prayer shawls, hospitality, choir, help with the kids, every fundraiser and fair.  The priest at her funeral said she had the curse of competency.  She served and served.  As a priest I have come to realize how important people like Granny really are. The parish depends upon them.

I think about our altar servers.  I always like to tell them, don’t you dare look nice and holy up here and not serve in your house when asked, or not serve your friends and classmates.

I also think about so many of our high schoolers who are always asking, is there anythign you need Fr?  festival, first fridays, all type of things…these guys are there.  They offer us an important example.

That’s the proof of our being Christian!  It’s the proof of our love.  “They’ll know we are Christians by our love…”  And love must be provable, must be service.

God tells us:  Choose today, who will you serve:  me, or soemthing else?  Make a final decision and stick with it. Enough games! He was probably tired of the people’s lukewarmness in Joshua’s time.  The folks had just taken possession of the promised land but had begun to forget about God….so he has them renew the promises their ancestors made at Sinai to love and serve.  Same story in the Gospel — so many had left Jesus, walked away, and he says: “Are you going to leave me too?”  Peter answers: there is no where else to go.

We must serve the Lord.   Satan was the first to say: I will not serve.  Milton quotes im in Paradise Lost: “Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.”  But everyone serves something — ego, money, power, prestige, lust.  ….

God says- -Enough.  You DECIDE TODAY: Who will you serve!  Amd then do it!

Joshua: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord..

Hard to serve…….yes! “hard saying” Jesus

Can’t be too busy to serve…we’re all too busy.  But we can never be too busy for the Lord.

We can never outserve God.  He serves us the perfect meal, his very self…he gave it all up for us.  Let us now serve him.  We can never outserve the Lord….remember Fr Larry Richard’s grandma’s ditty:

What?  Giving AGAIN I said in dismay?
It seems I just keep giving, and giving, and givign away.
O no, said the angel, piercing me through
Just give until God stops giving to you