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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2009 > Sermon 457 : The Necessity of Spiritual Heroism : 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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    Sermon 457 : The Necessity of Spiritual Heroism : 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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    Today's Gospel identifies the spiritual itinerary of discipleship, the movement from living out the Faith in accord with merely what is basic and the challenge of applying oneself to the demands of spiritual heroism. Christ does not let us remain comfortable with what amounts to only an adequate response to his call, he asks for more, and our relationship with him is expressed in our response.
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Dcn Hipolito Lagares
Hi Father I'm trying to listen since it is my turn to preach this Sunday.Thank you for your inspiring message!!!!
10/9/2009 1:45:58 PM
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Fr. Jackson
Dear Father, The sermon was really moving and to the point. I was able to make a journey myself with the rich young man. In a similar way as you have put it, the great pope John Paul II has inspired me too in his explanation of this text in Veritatis Splendor. I look forward to coming to listen to you every sunday. My prayers for you.
10/10/2009 12:15:54 PM
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Seminerin Enyasu Cosmas
I usually enjoy your homilies and they are spiritual in that during my medditations especially Lauds they fill me
10/10/2009 12:57:32 PM
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Giovanni Secchi
Fr. Barron, Thanks for all your efforts!
Again I cannot keep my thoughts to myself. - This time, you read the Gospel passage in terms of still not sufficiently matured faith, which obviously is the case with the young rich man in the Gospel reading, for he seems to give up, confronted with the next stage of faith formation: to commit oneself unconditionally to the Lord, with complete trust, dedicating everything to God, without any exception, including one's possessions. This does not mean that any use of money is condemned by Jesus. The parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-15) clarifies that the money is not determined to be the cause itself for the evil, unless it is not somehow deified as Mammon, as it is discussed in Matt 6:24 "You cannot serve God and the mammon" (interestingly, the Aramaic word "mammon" is related to the name of a Syrian deity). It depends on the order of priority. The means serves its purpose according and not in contrast to our call as children of God, to live in union with him, the highest good.

(Even Ancient Greek Mythology presented in the story of King Midas an example, which shows that money cannot be a purpose in itself, and the philosopher Aristotle came to that conclusion by logical argumentation.)

We must address the question to ourselves: How mature and deep is our Faith? If it is strong enough, we can overcome such a challenge easily, actually as if it would be none. I would refer Mk 10:27 to the help of the Holy Spirit (“[…] for all things are possible with God.”). In the end we must have surrendered completely to the Lord's side, where we are nurtured by the Heavenly Manna, which is Jesus Christ himself (see Jn 6:49-51) leading us to eternal life. Actually, we must reject all that keeps us from following the Lord, and if it would be the money, then we must change our attitude towards it. Then we would have to ask ourselves: Manna or Mammon? ("mamo[o]nâs" Matt 6:24; Luk 16:9,11,13)

Some implications remind me of the Parable of the Sower (Mk Ch.4), and in my mind the question arises: Are my roots deep and firm enough? Do the "cares of the world" (Mk 4:19) detract me from the Lord's way? -

In the context of "the battle of prayer" (§2728), the Catechism refers to the bible passage by warning of obstacles like "[...] sadness that, because we have "great possessions, "we have not given all to the Lord; disappointment over not being heard according to our own will; wounded pride, stiffened by the indignity that is ours as sinners [...]" – To grow in our Faith is the best antidote.

At least since the great emigration waves in the 19th century, the word "America" denotes a broad field of imagination in the mind of most Europeans. It makes anyone forget about the real geographical reference. The associations do not include the memories of starvation or persecution anymore. Nowadays, the metaphor refers to especially worldly desires that would make one's stay on earth a kind of materialistic 'paradise on earth', whose values are different from or even opposed to the guiding principles, which offer true progress to eternal life in Heaven. E.g. the "me first" attitude is radically in contrast to the agápe[e] with God and our neighbours. Many people have very little or no doubts about the egotistic lifestyle. Popular newspapers depict the role models, which express what is admired; failure and imperfection have no place in the dreamworld. For instance, someone would be suitable, who 'made it' to gain prestige and climbed on the ladder way up to the top of the 'high society'. In the reality of the 'soap opera' entertainment the 'self-made man' claims he would have made himself a 'real man', he does so according to materialistic thinking patterns made visible e.g. in Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman"; the central character Willy Loman must fail (as his aptronym/charactonym suggests [lo*->low; What a coincidence: in hebrew "lo-man" would mean "no-who"]). Willy defines himself by the success he has had. To loose is unthinkable to him. Accordingly, it would be always the fault of the looser himself to be one, only the successful would earn his existence. The unimaginable happens: he looses the success (and then his work ...), so he is unable to continue his life, due to his addiction to that absurd concept, that he accepted to be normative and more 'real' than himself, who has become a 'looser'. The drama is worth thinking about.

Let us keep in mind what St. Paul says in
Heb 12:1-2
"[...] let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, (2) looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame"

St. Cyprian states in “Works and Almsgiving” (Ch.10):
“[…] while you are afraid lest your personal wealth be failing, life itself, and salvation fail, and, while you are anxious lest any of your possessions be diminished, you do not take notice that you yourself, a lover of mammon rather than of your soul, are being diminished […]”
10/11/2009 10:58:31 PM
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Anne Marie Goh
Fr Barron, You mentioned that IF you can live a radical life , go for it. Does that mean if we can't, then we can give up and continue our life of spiritual mediocrity?
Only God is perfect, and only through grace, we can be like the Father. Isn't grace given to us at baptism. Then why I am still like the rich young man, walked away sad.
Fr Barron, can you clarify how then we can enter the kingdom if we choose not to give up our possessions.
Thank You very much
10/13/2009 1:10:44 PM
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Hi there,
this is a great podcast. However, it laks a simple RSS feed for those like me who do not want to use iTunes. Is this possible ? Thanks.
10/13/2009 2:33:26 PM
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Allan Garry
I guess I would like to introduce the element of hope
to this conversation.It certainly comes as no surprise
to me that the young man was saddened, considering in that culture as well as in the current one there is so much support for the accmulation of
material wealth.We seem to worship fame and fortune.the show American Idol is so consistant with what current
"idol" worship is all about.The hope is that what if after
reflection possibly over a long
period of time. The young man
sees the truth that jesus spoke,through his experience
in life.Then he he forsakes the folly of this finite
world and focus on the eternal reward, and follows the lords
direction.After all we dont know the rest of the story a(as paul harvey would say)we dont have to jump to the conclusion that he never saw the light.After all jumping to conclusions is not really good exercise.
10/13/2009 3:22:20 PM
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Giovanni Secchi

The parable of the unjust steward clarifies that the money is not determined to be the cause itself for the evil, UNLESS IT IS somehow deified as Mammon [...]
10/13/2009 4:24:13 PM
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Jr. Duboc-

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10/13/2009 4:42:19 PM
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