Monday, October 18, 2010

29th Sunday - homily

I welcome everyone here, especially the parents of GW students. There are three words to sum up the first two months at the Newman Center this year: it’s all good. It’s all good! Your sons and daughters are good, we’ve been having a good time, and good things are happening. At our Opening BBQ, we had about 500 students come by. Free Chipotle will do that. A few weeks into the semester, Archbishop Wuerl celebrated Mass with us which was very well attended by students. Many of them stayed for pizza after Mass and met the Archbishop. He was so impressed with the students that he has talked about them several times publicly since then. He also tells people what I said to him that night: “Archbishop, they’re not just here for you, they’re here for the free pizza”. We specialize in free food! Our Tuesday dinners and discussions have been very well attended. We have been discussing topics that are very pertinent to the students: the hook-up culture, party scene, dating, etc. Many of our students are in FOCUS Bible studies and they are loving them. It’s all good! You really have great sons and daughters. They are amazing and you have done an excellent job in raising them. I’m not just saying that because we will take up a collection for the Newman Center today and I ask you to be generous…! They are really that good.

It is all good, but it’s not all easy. To use the language of the first reading, we are in a battle. We are fighting for your kids’ lives…fighting for their souls. I am like Joshua who defended God’s children (the Israelites) against the Amalekites. I am defending your children. October is Respect Life Month in which we are reminded to respect and defend life from conception to natural death. At the Newman Center, we are defending the lives of your kids. They are in a battle with the culture that surrounds them on this campus. Every day, they are confronted every day with the party scene, the hook-up culture, secularism, relativism, atheism, and so forth. I see conflict in many of our students. They are trying to fit in at college and want to be liked by their peers. But, this often conflicts with their faith. They want to live in and for Christ and to be the people you raised them to be. It can definitely be a battle for them.

We fight for them with the sword as Joshua did. Our sword is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. We are presenting Christ to them in new and exciting ways and they are responding. But, just as Joshua needed the help of Moses’ prayers, I need your help. Pray for your sons and daughters and for us at the Newman Center. Your prayers are so powerful. They can be as powerful as Moses’, even more powerful

It was because of Moses’ prayers that the children of God won the battle. When Moses had his hands raised in prayer, Israel had the better of the fight. Even though he got tired, he continued to raise his arms and Israel prevailed. He was basically raising his arms, saying to God, “Lord, I give you all I have. They are in your hands. Protect them. Save them”. Moses didn’t stop praying and God rewarded him and his children for it.

Jesus teaches us the value of persistent and powerful prayer in the Gospel through a parable. The widow doesn’t relent in her pleading to the unjust judge. She bugs him, annoys him, and pesters him until he finally gives her a just decision. The Lord wants us to do the same with Almighty God, the just judge. We should constantly go to God with our prayers. Be totally honest with Him and bug Him. Even if it doesn’t appear that God answers our prayers, He does. A wise priest once said that God always answers our prayers. The answer is either “yes”, “not right now”, or “I have something better in mind”. It takes a lot of faith to be persistent in praying to God, especially when the answer isn’t what we were hoping for. Sometimes it’s tough to pray for your kids. As much as I love them and respect them, they make it challenging to pray for them sometimes. You know what I mean. You see them getting into stuff they shouldn’t be or making choices that will hurt them, and you get frustrated. I get frustrated. I hear “no” from them a whole lot more than I hear “yes”. Again, they are in a battle. It’s especially because of this that I pray for them every day. Pray for them every day. Your prayers are the keys to victory!

Finally, we have come to the Mass which is the greatest prayer. We have come to the Eucharist which reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice and prayer on the Cross. We remember that He raised His arms on a Cross and won victory for us in the ultimate battle. Students, when you come to Mass, thank Jesus for His sacrifice. Also, thank your parents for all of their sacrifices. They have helped you get where you are. Parents, when you come to Mass, pray for your kids. This prayer will be even more powerful than Moses’. I beg you, I beg you, I beg you to get on your knees every day and pray to Almighty God for your sons and daughters.


Anonymous said...


I just stumbled upon this thanks to Google...can you explain it to me? Isn't this totally wrong?

Anonymous said...

The way to the heart is through the stomach.

Anonymous said...

2:42PM Anon:

"Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." St. Jerome

Anonymous said...

There was a comic in Sunday's Washington Post, the name of which is escaping me.

Frame 1:
Parrot: Polly wants a cracker

Frame 2:
Parrot: Polly wants a cracker

Frame 3:
Parrot: Polly wants a cracker
Man in Chair: If you say that again I'll throw you to the wolves!

Frame 4:
Parrot is quiet.

Frame 5:
Parrot: Polly wants TWO crackers.