I think it's possible to be a little bit frustrated when we first hear the message from St. Paul this morning: "Rejoice! Again, I say rejoice!" See, be filled with joy. Most of us probably have discovered that being joyful isn't something you can suddenly be by sort of pushing a button. You know, if you're really discouraged and frustrated and upset and things are going badly, how do you suddenly be joyful?
The Peace Pulpit
We have given ourselves over to a culture of abundance, having not just enough, but more than enough. It's important to think about how we might simplify our lives.
If we want to honor Jesus as our king, we should act like Jesus. We should take in the oppressed, the hungry, the thirsty and the sick.
We've heard that parable many times, and I'm sure many times we've interpreted it for ourselves or heard someone explain it as a parable about receiving gifts from God -- talents, abilities -- and how important it is to use them. Not to waste them, not to let them be dormant, but to be energetic in using what God has given to us, using all our talents for good purposes so that we will hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come enjoy the blessings of God's kingdom."
Editor's note: Bishop Gumbleton gave this homily at the consecration of the altar at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary Motherhouse in Monroe, Mich.
And now, my brothers and sisters, this is just the beginning of Chapter 23, and as you can tell, it's a very harsh judgment on the part of Jesus against the religious leaders -- the scribes, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -- all of them. And as you go through the chapter, it becomes even more critical and harsh.
When we receive the sacrament of confirmation, we commit ourselves to be those who give witness to the good news of God’s love.
You are aware, I'm sure, of the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded this past Friday. It was a joint award, two people got it, but most extraordinary, part of it, is the teenage girl from Pakistan -- 17 years old, the youngest Nobel laureate since the prize began to be given out in 1901. The paper wrote about her, and the article that I read, it started with, "Who is Malala [Yousafzai]?" And some of us may wonder that, but in this instance, it wasn't just trying to find out, out of curiosity, who Malala is.
Editor's note: This homily was given at the 125th anniversary celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit.
The Peace Pulpit: We tend to want to put our relationship to God in a way that we feel we merit something. Not true; God first loved us.