19 August 2013

The Rich Young Man and the Friars

The rough outline of this morning's homily: admittedly, it came out a lot differently than I had thought it would (for the better, I hope!).

No wonders worked, no sick cured.

And yet, this account from the Gospel of Matthew cuts to the core of Christian belief and praxis: give up what you have and follow the Lord.

BUT: Only if Jesus is who we – standing on the shoulders of the Fathers – say he is, is this practice even thinkable. 

Listen to a passage like this and we come to understand at once the genius as well as the great burden of the Gospel: either we are fools or followers after the Son of God.

This year, let us pray not only that we do act in a way that, in the words of Jesus gains for us “treasure in heaven”– a life worth of the Kingdom both here as well as one that mirrors the faithful of Christ and thus prepares us for our salvation.

No, brothers, more than not killing, not committing adultery, no stealing, not bearing false witness, honoring our father and mother and loving our neighbor as ourselves, we are called to embrace a way of perfection that has been laid out for us.  We stand on the shoulders of our holy father Francis as well as on the saints of the Seraphic Order and hear a message clearly: let us sell what we have and follow the Lord. 

Francis and those who have followed him have done what is theirs to do, let us now hurry to do what it is ours.  Because to echo the words of Francis as he looked back on his life and ministry, up to now, we have done nothing.

Let’s get to selling.  And then follow.

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