Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Homily Thirty-First Sunday of the Year 4 November 2007

Keith Green is the author of the song Until That Final Day…

My flesh is tired of seeking God,
But on my knees I'll stay.
I want to be a pleasing child,
Until that final day.

My mind is full of many thoughts
That clutter and confuse.
But standing firm, I will prevail,
In faith that I'll be used.

I wrestle not with flesh and blood,
My fight is with the one,
Who lost the keys of hell and death,
To God's most precious son.

One sleepless night of anguished prayer,
I triumphed over sin.
One battle in the Holy war,
God's promised me to win.

My flesh is tired of seeking God,
But on my knees I'll stay.
I want to be a pleasing child,
Until that final day.

These words capture the struggle of our Christian spiritual life.

Our hearts burn with a desire to seek God and to live a life that pleases Him…
and yet our bodies…our flesh…grows tired in the fight against sin.
We are tempted by the devil
and by the sinful pleasures with which the world tries to bait us.
We would rather give up and give in.

And yet we go on.
When we fall we pick ourselves up and drag our weak flesh along…
as Christ once picked Himself up three times under the weight of the Cross.

In anguished prayer on tired knees…
in confusing thoughts
in seemingly endless battles
we wrestle with ourselves and with evil…
striving and struggling to please God and love one another.

Sometimes the push and pull of the crowd
can be a formidable obstacle to overcome in our struggle to live a holy life.

The spiritual life is the struggle to rise above sin and the temptations of the world
in order to behold the face of God.

In today’s Gospel…
the tax collector Zacchaeus…a man short in stature we are told…
climbs a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus as He passes below.

Helping us see the deeper message in this well-known story…
Cyril of Alexandria comments that Zacchaeus is not only physically short…
but short in stature spiritually.
Spiritually speaking…
it is not the multitude of people that keeps him from seeing Jesus
but the multitude of his sins.

Spiritually speaking…
it is not simply that he needs to be physically raised up from the ground
but that he needs to rise above the earth and its temptations and vices
in order to see Jesus.

Each of us…in our own struggle to live holy lives…
needs to climb above the earth and its sinful temptations…
above our own fleshly uncleanness and our multitude of sins…
in order to behold Jesus Christ face to face…in purity of heart.

In every step of this long, hard journey…
Jesus is walking next to us…
supporting us in our weakness
and carrying us when we can no longer walk the road alone.

The modern world brings with it ever more vicious struggles for people today.

Today is the end of White Ribbon Week…
a week dedicated to raising awareness about a certain kind of modern vice.

This is a vice that comes to us through books and magazines…
through television…movies…even the telephone…and especially the internet.
A vice that threatens to destroy marriages.
A vice that mocks and undermines God’s plan for human sexuality.
A vice that exploits women.
A vice that warps young minds and lures young souls away from God and family.
A vice that consumes 12% of all internet sites and in a multi-million dollar industry.
A vice which is among the most commonly confessed sins in the Sacr. of Penance.

Out of sensitivity to innocent ears, I shall spare further details.

Suffice it to say…
pornography is an epidemic in our world today…
one that threatens the moral fabric of western civilization.

This White Ribbon Week we all have a role to play in stemming this tide of evil.

If this vice threatens you or your family…
seek the help you need to break the addiction.

Some families choose not to have the internet or television in their homes.
Others monitor it carefully to protect their children…and themselves.

You can stand up for the truth of your Christian values and virtues…
and declare by where you spend your money
that you will not support an industry of deviancy and immorality.

You can call your congressmen and encourage them to support anti-obscenity laws.
complain to city hall about undesirable businesses in your neighborhood
and write letters to the editors of the local papers defending moral positions.
Most of all…
we can all pray very hard that those caught up in sin and its effects
find freedom and peace in the truth and love of Jesus Christ.

The love and mercy of God is powerful enough to conquer every evil.
In that mercy and love we place our trust…
as we climb…not a sycamore tree…but the tree of life…the Cross.

We embrace the Cross of Christ and the crosses each of us bears daily in life…
and we strain…and struggle…and climb…
until we behold the face of Jesus…
who gazes into our eyes and asks to come stay in our house.

And so we receive Him with joy…
Body and Blood, soul and divinity, in the Eucharist…
into the dwelling of our souls.

Intimately united to Jesus…
we struggle on to praise His name and glorify Him forever!

No comments: