Thirtieth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Oct 31, 2017


29 OCTOBER 2017




“Thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not molest or oppress an alien,

for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.”

This is one of my favorite Old Testament passages.

Why?  It reminds me my ancestors came to this country with little or nothing.

It reminds me they were treated badly as all immigrants have been treated.

Many years ago in early fall I was driving by Memorial High School in Eau Claire.,

It must have been near 3 pm and school was just getting out.

As I looked down a side street,

I saw an old Hmong grandmother walking with a little child clinging to her.

And I saw, what I could not believe I was seeing.

I saw 4 students taunting this old woman and child, throwing little stones at her.

I stopped my car and ran down the street to where the old woman was.

I yelled at the students to stop.

Everyone stopped, the four students, the old woman, the little child crying clinging to her.

My heart was beating I was so angry at those kids.

“You don’t get it do you?

Not that long ago, maybe your grandfather, maybe your great grandmother,

were immigrants to thiscountry.

They came here and no one wanted them.

You don’t get it that these two people could be you.”


Then one kid spoke up:  “You lay one hand on any of us and my dad who is lawyer

Will sue your ass off.”  And then they walked away.

The old woman didn’t speak English.

I think she didn’t understand what happened and perhaps was just as afraid of me as

She was of those kids. She hurried away in the opposite direction.

I’ll always remember that day.

I’ll always remember how hard it is to remember that in any circumstance,

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

I’ll always remember how hard it is to live

The golden rule Jesus proposes in the gospel today.

So many people find it easy to love God.

It’s the second part that’s so hard.