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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2011 > Sermon 564 : Priesthood - Darkness and Light : 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
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    Sermon 564 : Priesthood - Darkness and Light : 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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    The reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi is an address to all priests, especially when they go bad. What causes this corruption? When they stop giving glory to God. God places a curse on wicked priests. We see this happen throughout Church history, especially today. But the only remedy to this is walking in the ways of Christ and allowing God to make you into a gift for all peoples.
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Mary Slavicek
It made me think more about our parish priests. Enjoyed; always do these talks with Fr. Barron. He makes more sense out of the Sunday's doing in church. Keep going Father, I mean it. I purchased Catholicism bundle; love it! Want to introduce it to our Pastor.
10/26/2011 8:29:06 AM
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William Rhinehart
Fr. Barron:
You are helping me through a very difficult period of my life with your no-nonsense, straight forward words. The Catholicism series is rekindling a fire that was smouldering in me. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
10/26/2011 8:03:04 PM
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Relating the Priesthood to a nursing mother is fitting. But, how could I possibly know? I don’t, I only know one side of it, and just what “I think” the other side might be. So, I think, it’s like Mary’s yes.

A nursing mother’s life does not belong to her, she is and must be indispensible - (in such a case) the baby’s life depends on it - the giving of one’s life wholly for the other, much more than just nourishment for the body. I can say this because I did nurse my baby. I will always remember, only a few days old, that beautiful gaze in her eyes when she looked at me while she was nursing… me thinking I would die for her. And that is how I’ve related, in my own human way, to Jesus dying for us. Loving someone so much you’d give your very life. I shared this experience in my Bible study class several years ago because we were talking about the love Jesus has for us and that He would die for us. Someone in the group said he just couldn’t grasp the idea of dying for somebody but, after discussing, (he also had a daughter) he said, yes, if it came down to it, he would die for his daughter. I have often thought of that Columbine High School girl, the one who was known to be ‘religious’ – she had a gun to her head and was asked would you die for HIM?.. she said yes, and the kid pulled the trigger. Could I do what she did? I think this young high school girl reached into her very heart of hearts and pulled out that love, God’s Love, that Love that surpasses all understanding – and just let go unto HIM.

I also think it is easy to develop, or fall into, the mindset of a career instead of a life with God as center. That’s emptiness, a human looking at objects around them. No doubt being human drags a Priest down perhaps just in repetition, or the day after day, year after year of helping others, wishing somebody would give them a break not just a vacation. It’s easy for one to forget to take care of one’s self and relationship with God maintaining reason and faith when their life is constant care for others.

Any dulling becomes evident when the newly ordained Priest walks in the door. I love the Masses celebrated by the newly ordained Priests. I see a Mass of a different level – a strong focus and love for God that is visible, not just in the Priest, but also in the people. Not just in the prayer, but also in the human reaction of listening to a chant instead of the spoken word. It lights something up in the congregation. It’s in their humanity that I have seen Jesus. It’s easy to recognize the Priest that has kept his eyes on Jesus. That visible love seen in the newly ordained Priest is now a matured reverence for God you can see and hear. The glory to God is not something ‘we do’, it’s what happens when we say yes to Him. We can’t do it. He does it. Simple as that – we are nothing – it’s HIM.

Relating back to the nursing mom, I remember being very, very tired one night and she just kept crying… how could I handle this? I was SO tired. I remembered she was the tiny one, the vulnerable one, the one needing comfort. She was the one crying, not me, I just wanted to sleep. And, it was ONLY the unconditional love that I had for her that kept me walking quietly and humming, rocking her in my arms, nursing her and holding her close. It wasn’t an easy thing to do when I was so worn. My love for her had to be bigger than how tired I was. Her tiny, vulnerable life depended on the way I chose to love at that moment. I could never have experienced that unconditional love without taking that step to choose to love more.

Is it easier to live a life in Christ as a Priest, or just a person of faith out there. Who has it easier? Is one life more pleasing to God than the other? If one really does love God, and acts on, or responds to that love, then it’s not what ‘they’ do, it’s what God does. It’s HIS plan, not ours. It’s like Paul says, “it’s no longer me who lives, but Christ who lives in me”.

I’ve cared for retired clergy and they really are quite human. But they are the humans that have given everything, their entire human life to God. I do love them, oh yes, every one of them. And working in that environment had demands, but it also had a chapel I could run into when one of them was crabbier than the strength I had that day… unlike the office environment when and where the only place I could run was to the love of God in my heart. I couldn’t see the Crucifix, all I could do was try to go deeper to find him, doing it without seeing it.

I have heard more than 1 Priest say in his homily, how do I preach to such a wide age group of people and reach them all? If you are asking, then I say, preach love, everybody can relate in one way or another to Love. If only we could just remain focused on God, HIM, instead of allowing ourselves to be distracted, we could be more united – unity, HIS love in action.

Tying up heavy burdens and not laying a finger to help is the verse that jumped out at me in my reading. There is such an absence of that “walking with the other”.

It must have been awfully important for the Lord to have asked Peter 3 times, “Do you love me”?
10/27/2011 8:10:29 PM
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Msgr. Hynes
Fr. Barron - Wonderful reflection, both on the readings the times we are in. Thank you!
10/30/2011 9:31:23 AM
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Dan Moore
An insightful sermon and a very important point on giving one's self to others. Fr. Barron's sermon reminded me of author John Steinbeck's book The Grapes of Wrath and in particular the ending.
10/31/2011 8:15:48 AM
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Can you tell me if during Mass when it is said, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord", if that pertains to priests, to Jesus, or both, or more? (I am a convert and trying..) God Speed!
10/31/2011 4:49:59 PM
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Ruben Nuñez
Hello Fr. Barron. Excellent reflection. As a spiritual exercise on sunday, I designed two graphics (I'm a graphic artist) based on your sermon and the readings. I also credited you. You can see it here:
11/1/2011 10:52:57 AM
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Well Fr. Barron, you really can't get more direct and to the point about this topic than what you have expressed. I hope those listening were inspired to pray even more for ALL priests. What you had to say was a sad story, but true. But Father, when you step back and look at the big picture, do you ever get the feeling God is panning for gold? Apply any similar analogy that comes to mind, but this one feels right to me. That took a lot of guts to say what you had to say, but I truly believe that you helped save many souls by doing so, Thank God.
11/6/2011 8:28:51 PM
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Father continued the sereis of homilies on the Beatitudes that have been going on through Lent. He focused on Blessed are the peacemakers . Father spoke about three levels of peace- with God, with ourselves and with our fellow man. He explained that true peace cannot come without God, and dispelled the myth that to be a peacemaker is to be a pacifist. He pointed out the differences between what the world considers to be peace (lack of external conflict) and the peace that passes all understanding that comes from God. It reminded me so much of what is going on in America right now. People of conscience, especially Catholics, are being asked to shut up and submit to a false peace in the name of healthcare. Anyone with a big enough Catholic family has probably felt pressure to not rock the boat in various circumstances (irregular marriages, cohabitation, children not being baptized) to avoid a family argument and keep the peace . Sometimes our notion of being a peacemaker is a cover for cowardice, I suppose. Father's homily gave me much to think about and made me pray for fortitude during the Offertory, not only to stand up to the lions of injustice in society, but to have the courage to do the right thing when it comes to sticky family situations. I was reminded that I need to be faithful in small things if I am to be faithful in big things. Fortitude is not something I regularly pray for as I am usually so focused on patience, but this homily drove me to pray for fortitude in a way that I have not before.
6/1/2012 2:08:14 AM
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