Twenthy-Third Sunday of the year Homily

Posted on Sep 11, 2018





One of the former student employees at Newman had a house not far from my friend Mike’s house.

I ‘d go over there often when I was in the Cities,

usually just for a few minutes to visit his children–which were a hoot.

When I’d go, I usually brought the children cookies.

Toward the end of one summer I had brought cookies over and as I was preparing to leave,

I said to Max, the oldest who is going into Second Grade

“Max, I don’t know when I’m going to see you again?”

Max thought for a moment and said, “Oh George, you can come back in 30 days.”

“30 days,” I said, “30 days with no cookies.”

Well, I could have just smashed his favorite toy right in front of him.

His face clouded over, his eyes narrowed. He’d clearly just made a horrible mistake.

I could almost hear his thoughts running through his head, and then he had an insight.

He could “take it back.”

“Oh George,” he said, “I didn’t mean that. You can come back tomorrow–with some cookies.”

And then he quickly added, “with some cookies.”

Little Max was the reminder to me that day, that some of the choices we make don’t serve us well,

but the glory of being human, the glory of being a Christian is that every day is a new day,

and we can choose again to be faithful to the Lord.

Today we all get to choose again to be faithful to our baptism,

to be faithful to coming here each weekend–no matter how seductive other things are.

This will take some courage on all of our parts.

And so we hear in the first sentence of the first reading: “Be strong, fear not.”

It is the Lord who will accompany us, to help us be faithful.

I came back the next day to bring Max and his siblings some cookies.

Little Max gave me a hug, and then reached for the cookie bag.

“I knew you would come,” he said.

How he knew when I didn’t is beyond me,

except that God helps us keep our promises–the promises we make,

and the promises we should make.