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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Homily 9-29-2013

Today I want to ask you a very important question: “Does your wardrobe testify to Jesus?” I am not speaking about your physical clothes, though a shirt with a religious message on it might be a nice way to spark a good discussion (but it might not, and I'll get to that in a minute). I am talking about the things that really speak to others even more than our clothing (or lack thereof), our hair style, tattoos/piercing, whatever.

Pope Paul VI, an under-appreciated pope says: People today listen more readily to witnesses than to teachers; and if they listen to teachers at all, it is because they are witnesses!

What kind of witnessing do we do? What does our wardrobe look like?

The rich man of Our Lord's parable today doesn't receive a very good description: not even getting his name, all we hear is that he wore the best, he ate the best, and he ignored the worst. My guess is he ignored pretty much everyone.
As much as we hate to believe it, our actions can say a lot about what we love: is it God? Family? Success? “Retirement”? Self-righteousness? What we live our life for might not be the same as what we want to live our life for, and today is a reminder that we need to keep that in check. We should ask ourselves: What do we wear on the outside? Our “clothing” is the first thing people see when they look at us. Well, the first thing people “see” about our inner person is our actions: our choices. What do we choose put on every day? Hopefully it is God, Honesty, Goodness, Charity, and Humility.

Saint John Chrysostom has this to say about today's rich man: Ashes, dust, and earth he covered with purple, and silk; or ashes, dust, and earth bore upon them purple and silk. As his garments were, so was also his food. Therefore with us also: as our food is, such let our clothing be.
This holy bishop is noticing a kind of cause and effect relationship between what we put in and what comes out. Looked at spiritually, the rich man put in self-absorption, pride, and an attachment to worldly things, and look what he puts out: living high on the hog and a lifestyle oblivious to those who have nothing but gaping wounds.
we have to be careful what we put into our souls, so that we can control what we show to others on the outside!  What we ought to welcome in our hearts is only God and the things of God, and this is done through prayer, good works and especially the Eucharist.



• Ite ad Evangelium Domini nuntiandum.
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

• Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum.
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.





This Eucharist, what we put in our bodies and souls, is God Himself. Do we let that “consume” us, “take over” our hearts, and transform us into what we receive? Today, let us consciously put on a wardrobe of choices and concrete actions that witness to Jesus, that put God at the center, and that brings others to this community where our deepest human needs are satisfied by the Living God.

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