Homily by Father Paul
A man spent most of the summer afternoon pestering his three sons to help him set up the tent and organize their camp at the state park. He was angry and frustrated and kept muttering to himself, “Relax I’m on vacation. Relax. ‘Go camping. It’ll be fun!’ they said. ” A few minutes after six a loaded minivan pulled into the last campsite. Four youngsters leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up a tent. The boys rushed off to find firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils. The frustrated father of the three boys watched in amazement. He said to the man, “That is some display of team work. Please tell me, what’s your secret?” The father replied, “I have a system. No one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up.” Now that is motivation that works!
Why are you here this morning? What is your motivation? Some of us are here because we were correctly taught that it is a sin to miss Mass without a good reason. Some of us are here because our parents made us come. Others are here because we are searching for someone or something. Still others are here because we want to be here. Why are you here this morning?
As we look to the gospels, we see that people had many reasons for coming to Jesus.
- As his REPUTATION spread, there were those who crowded around him with various diseases and ailments. They were looking for HEALING.
- As his POPULARITY spread, there were religious leaders who felt threatened and challenged Jesus. They were looking for a FIGHT.
- As his MIRACLES increased, there were those who were just there for the show. They were looking for ENTERTAINMENT.
- As his WISDOM spread, there were seekers like the rich young man in Luke’s gospel, or the disciples in John Chapter 6 who walked away. There were looking for an EASY WAY into heaven.
In today’s gospel, John the Baptist tells the rue reason for following Jesus: he is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the Lamb of God who would sacrifice his very life to take away the sins of the world. So what does that mean for us? St. Paul puts it this way:
- We are consecrated. That means literally “devoted to a purpose.”
- We are called to be holy, godly, and saintly.
There may be many reasons why we are here, but none better than this: because we are in the process of becoming more and more consecrated and holy.