November 8, 2020; Homily- 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend the diocese of Richmond culminates the celebration of the Bicentennial Year with the Eucharistic Congress. We have witnessed the solemn and very meaningful virtual celebration of the Mass and Holy Hour this morning/yesterday. This event was joined by a number of bishops coming from the neighboring dioceses and other places, it was participated by Catholics in the diocese of different ethnicity. We may say the success of the congress depends on how we appreciate, understand deeper and strengthen our devotion in the presence of God in the Eucharist. May this inspire us to live out our faith and express it in words and deeds.

In the chosen gospel today, after having criticized their lack of faith, Jesus confers their mission to the disciples: “Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned”. These words of Jesus not only addressed to the disciples but to us too.

To those who had the courage to believe in the Good News, Jesus promises the following signs: they will cast out devils, they will speak new languages, they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed if they drink deadly poison, and they will lay their hands on the sick who will recover. This happens even today. To cast out devils is to fight against the force of evil which destroys life. The life of many people improves because they entered into the community and have begun to live the Good News of the presence of God in their life. This also our mission as Christian, as parish, as diocese, to announce the Good News to the whole world. These are the challenges to each one of us.

– to speak new languages: it means to begin to communicate with others in a new way. Sometimes we meet a person whom we have never seen before, and we care deeply for them and their situation, even though we don’t know them well. This happens because we speak the same language, the language of love.

-deadly poison will not harm them: there are many things that poison life. There is gossip which destroys the relationship between
persons. The one who lives in the presence of God does not participate in these things and is not able to be disturbed by this poison.

-they cure the sick. Wherever there is a clear and lively knowledge of God’s presence, there is also a special care given to the excluded
and marginalized, especially the sick. We can help cure a person and feel accepted and loved.

Each of us is called into the ministry of Jesus in some way. We are called to be “other Christ”, to be people who wish to make known and spread the love of God and his care for his people in the world. God has some work to do that can be done only through each person. In our prayer let us ask that we use our gifts and talents as best we can in God’s service.

Let us pray for the Church that it may be faithful and courageous as it carries the message of Jesus to the whole world. We are assured that God is always with us.

Father Bernie

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