9.8.13 Sun. Wk.23-OT-C
1st Reading – Wisdom 9: 13 – 18a
Philemon 9 – 10, 12 – 17
Gospel – Luke 14: 25 – 33
Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. The Gospel of the Lord
Homily: Fr. Mike Murphy:
23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (C)
8 September 2019
Today’s Gospel begins with a very interesting sentence: “Great crowds were travelling with +Jesus, and He turned to address them” (Luke 14:25). Notice, Luke reports that the crowds were not “following” +Jesus; they were just “travelling” along. These were not His disciples, they were simply “observers”; the vast majority did not share His vision or participate in His mission. This was abundantly clear during His passion. In the Gospel, +Jesus wanted to clarify what it means to be His disciple.
Why would +Jesus tells us to “hate”…“Father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even (one’s) own life” (Luke 14:26ff). That is very strong language. We need to understand what the verb “ou musei” (“hate”) meant in Biblical times. It often meant to “love less”. +Jesus wants to teach us we must not love God “less” than our parents, spouse, children, brothers and sisters. We should love no one more than God. Discipleship is not just a hobby; the Church is not just a service club. Discipleship is why we do, what we do as loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, generous “followers of +Jesus. Disciples share in the vision and mission of +Jesus.
At Sacred Heart we are called to be in communion with the vision and mission of +Jesus. We experience this communion as we embrace, together, His vision. Through the prayer and discernment of many people in our parish, we have come to believe that our building project is the vision +Jesus has for Sacred Heart Parish and School. We are not just constructing and remodeling physical structures. It is deeper than that. We are building a welcoming place for families to anchor their lives in faith and Christian values;
-Building a place to grow in faith, hope and love,
-Building a place to come when we are searching for light and hope,
-Building a place to learn truth and help one another,
-Building a place for all ages to explore the possibilities their life holds for our children to discern the life God is calling them to.
We are building a place to weep and rejoice, to welcome and to celebrate. We are building a place to encounter Christ in the sacraments and life of the community. We are building a place for those who are only “travelling” with +Jesus, so they can have an encounter that inspires them to “follow” +Jesus. The building is being done in our hearts and souls; building us into…“A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own…who called you out of darkness into His own wonderful light” (1 Pet.2:9). The new Parish Center, St. Francis Chapel and remodeled Ministry Center is part of the vision to continue the mission of Christ; bringing your family into deeper communion with Christ.
Today, we begin a 90-day Marian campaign to complete the pledges needed to finish the construction of physical buildings. Today is September 8th. On the Church’s calendar it is the feast of the Birth of Mary. Nine months ago, on December 8th, we celebrated Mary’s Immaculate Conception. This campaign will end on December 12th, the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. Mary was the first disciple to possess the vision and participate in the mission of Christ. The Holy Spirit built within her heart and womb an Arc of the New Covenant. This is what God planned from the beginning. Mary would be the Mother of +Jesus. Mary did not understand how this would happen. She was “troubled” by the words of the angel; why was she chosen, at that place and time? Mary simply replied: “I am the maidservant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). I am entrusting this capital campaign to Mary’s intercession. She will obtain the graces we need to embrace her Son’s vision.
Let me tell you a story. In 2012, I invited three dozen parishioners to a communal discernment in our parish, for the purpose of discovering God’s vision for Sacred Heart Parish and School over the next half century. Early on, these parishioners began to speak of the need for new, 21st century facilities. I wanted nothing to do with new building. I remember going back to the rectory and saying to +Jesus in prayer: “Lord I do not know how to do this – build something. Can you please wait for the next pastor to do this?” It was not to be. In prayer, +Jesus showed me how He had directed me toward this moment. I came to this parish as a seminarian in 1981. It really was a fluke. I had no connection here. I had been living in Palm Springs as a radio personality before entering the seminary. I met Msgr. Portman, the pastor, while studying in Rome; we had never met before. He arranged for me to come to Sacred Heart for summer ministry. I was brought back the following summer as a deacon. Then, in June of 1983, I was ordained a priest on this spot; the only priest ordained in this church’s history. Twelve years later, Msgr. Portman retired and I was assigned here as associate pastor. I was told by the bishop it was to be for only 6 months until a new pastor was chosen. This was a high seniority parish assignment. However, no seasoned pastor applied for the parish. Inexplicably, Bishop Brom appointed me. I had never been a pastor before. I lacked seniority for this parish. I have now been here 23 years as pastor; a term unheard of these days, but – here I am. So, when I saw all this in prayer in as I discerned new facilities at Sacred Heart, my only response was “Ok, Lord, I see now. Please help me.” The Lord has surrounded me with good and talented parishioners. I believe now, I was chosen, to be part of God’s vision at this moment in Sacred Heart’s 122 year history. I am convinced this is God’s plan for me as your pastor at Sacred Heart. As in God’s choice of prophets in the Old Testament, as in +Jesus’ choice of Apostles in the New Testament, the Lord chose the least qualified person as pastor for this mission. Mary is “Blessed among women”. I am not comparing myself to her. But I do share something with her: I was asked to trust in God’s plan for me. Mary, Our Lady of Trust, is my model.
It is now the moment for you to answer your call. It is no coincidence that you are here, in this parish, in this community, at this moment of history. If you take time to pray on your journey to Sacred Heart, as I did, you will discover it was not your work alone, it was part of God’s plan for your personal salvation history. You are here to share in His vision, to be part of His mission “To create at Sacred Heart, a center of Catholic Life in Coronado; responding to our call to holiness, in both our spiritual and human responsibilities”. About 30% of you have embraced the vision, participating in this mission through pledges and donations. Your names are on the list of donors in today’s parish bulletin. How will the rest of you respond to the call to discipleship? When we give ourselves to nurturing love and generosity on earth our efforts reach beyond our own chronological existence. Your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will proudly point to your name on our donor wall. They will know you participated in God’s vision at Sacred Heart. When we participate in the vision and mission of Christ for the creation of a community of love, we are helping God build the Kingdom
This week, parishioners will receive a beautiful brochure in the mail. Read it; pray with it; ask +Jesus, to what extent you are called to participate. If it is in a sacrificial way, remember the words of +Jesus in the Gospel: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). The good news we begin this Marian campaign is we have a gift of up to $1 million in matching funds. This person sees clearly the vision of +Jesus. If you want your gift to be matched write “matching gift” on the pledge card when you return it. In the Gospel, +Jesus teaches us to look to Him as the source of life. Love for +Jesus must become the ordering principle of our life. Are we “travelling” through life with +Jesus? Are we “following” Jesus in our life? Sharing His vision; building His mission for the glory and honor of God.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.