posted on July 07, 2013 10:41
Gospel: Luke 10: 1 - 12, 17 -20
Homily: Father Mike Kuse
Blessed Sacrament Parish
July 7, 2013 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10 AM Service
Imagine you and I are seeking to be laborers. We've heard about Jesus and think it would be fun to have all these powers. As we open the Herald-Whig there is an advertisement in the employment page. It says, “Wanted: Someone to live out their faith. Qualification: That you know the main thing. And that the main thing will always be in your heart.” Then there is a little blurb underneath, and it says, “If you come for an interview, don't bring anything.”
I wonder how many of us would say, “Wow. That looks interesting. All I have to do is not worry about anything. As long as I know God is the main thing, I'm all set.” But then when you go for the interview and you are questioned about this position, you may think twice.
I would like everyone here to think for a moment: If
you are married - go back to when you first got married; if you are single - go back to when you left home and were on your own. What did you really have? If there's someone sitting here saying, “On my wedding day we received this $600,000 home completely furnished” -then you're not in on this so you just keep quiet.
I remember when I decided to go to the seminary, not only did I not have anything, but they also told me what I could have. I was to bring two pairs of black slacks that were “wash and wear.” I was to bring underwear and socks, I was to have a cassock for daily life, a cassock for Sunday, and I was to have two white shirts that would have French cuffs. I could bring a typewriter. If I wanted a rug in my room it had to be five feet by seven feet and anything longer went back home.
It didn't take long to move in. After one week they came by, room by room, and if you had anything but those items - “send them home. You don't need anything. All you need is your willingness to learn the 'main thing.' ”
Think back to your first years of marriage, and the early years of raising a family. I don't remember what was going on when I was one, two, three, or four years old - but I am told my baby bed was an iron bed that my Mom and Dad purchased at a garage sale. Maybe some of you started off very slim as well.
Jesus is trying to tell us that the “main thing” is not about material things. What he is saying is, “You have to figure out what you are willing to let go of to let God into your life, so that you can be sent out every single moment of your life to make a difference in this world.”
But if we have all this baggage it holds us back.
Unless we know how to handle the baggage, we may have problems. And if we have the baggage, we need to know how to share the baggage.
This morning Jesus promises us by saying, “You know, if you go in my name and if you look over that advertisement in the Herald-Whig, I promise you one thing. Your life will be about comfort and joy. Not comfortable things, but comfort and joy. You will realize, as you give things away, that you will have an inner power in your life in raising your children, in your friendships, at work, at prayer. And that God just has a way of releasing everything to make it all happen.”
And he says, “When you come here on Sunday, don't come tell me all the wonderful things you've done during the past week. What I am asking you every Sunday is, 'Do you know who I am?' I want to make sure that you haven't lost that relationship with me, so that when you leave church you know that once again you have a few days to let go and to live.”
It sounds easy, and sometimes it is easy. But more often than not, it becomes difficult and we become tangled in a web of too many distractions. But we can always go back and say, “You know, no matter what kind of bed I sleep on - the important thing is that I sleep well. And may I know that the food that I eat for my journey, may it sustain me and keep me healthy. And may I not just depend upon roast beef and mashed potatoes or a double-burger. May I always know that I need the body and blood of Christ to make that difference.”
I don't know where God is going to send all of us this week, but wherever we happen to go, may we answer that advertisement. The main thing is to know the “main thing,” and to keep the “main thing” - the main thing.
Jesus tells us, “Take only what you need. I will provide the rest.
Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.