Seventeenth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Aug 1, 2017



30 July 2017


As most of you know the first parish to which I was assigned after ordination was St. Pat’s in Eau Claire.

It was a great parish, those were my Camelot years.

The people were good to me.  I learned a lot.

Early on one parishioner said to me:

“George you need more balance in your homilies.

You seem to be saying it’s all or nothing.  God or nothing.

What about people with families


, responsibilities.

We can’t all be priests.”

His comments stuck with me for a long time.

How could I square the ordinary lives of people

with a gospel which calls for a whole-hearted, unbalanced kind of response.

The stories Jesus tells today are pretty clear on that point.

The jeweler who sells everything–for the one perfect pearl.

The man who finds a buried treasure–risks everything for it.

The common element for the people in these stories is that they throw away common sense.

They throw away the safety of the way things are.

For me and probably for you,

for us who would like to be reasonably happy, lead balanced lives?

Just about everything we do means compromise–

We can’t be more generous with out time or money because of the other commitments we have,

or the lifestyle we’ve come to expect.

We can’t act more justly because it might jeopardize our job

which would jeopardize the food on our family’s table or the friendships we need to live.

All of these things together tend to tell us what we should do rather than allowing us to ask the question, what should I do?

And that is the real question today.

It’s a question which these stories remind us to keep asking throughout our lives.

Today we may settle for the way things are,

but that doesn’t mean tomorrow we will settle.

We are reminded over and over that there is another way of living,

of relating to God.

So, in your quiet moments this week as you’re juggling your families,

your jobs, your leisure,

Don’t forget that your life as a disciple of Jesus is always to ask in 

Each moment of every day: “What should I do?”

Some day the answer may come, “Sell everything you have for the one great pearl.”