Twenty Seventh Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Oct 9, 2018



7 October 2018


I suppose that a few people here remember and watched Princess Diana’s funeral.

And, I suppose a few people remember and watched Mother Theresa’s funeral.

I did and I was struck by the contrast in these two women who both captured the world stage.

As one commentator said of the two:

“Mother Theresa gave her life for the poor. Princess Diana, was a concerned tourist.”

Princess Diana, was what most of us are really like, we are concerned about the poor, the needy. And, occasionally we do good things, but then we go on with our lives, pretty good lives.

Mother Theresa, did the courageous thing, she followed the advice of Jesus in today’s gospel–late in life,

but nevertheless, accepted the gospel on it’s simplest, most childlike terms.

She could see only the poor in the world, while the rest of us barely see them at all.

I was talking about this with a young man who long ago gave up going to church,

but who was absolutely taken with Mother Theresa.

He said something which I have thought about a lot.

He said, “The irony is that we would all like to have the jet-setting life of Diana–

to be rich, to meet the rock stars of the century, to go anywhere and do anything.

And we can’t. None of us will ever be a prince or a princess.

Any one of us can give away everything we have and care for the poor.

Anyone of us can have the life of the better of these two women and we don’t choose it.

The more I think about what he said, the more I get stuck there.

It’s true. We could all, each one of us, me included, have the life of Mother Theresa.

Very few among us choose it.

We would much rather hanker after Princess Diana’s life.

The only thing I can think of, more consolation than anything else, is that

Mother Theresa wasn’t always “Mother Theresa.”

She came to herself–to the simplicity of responding to the gospel late in life.

Maybe there is hope for each one of us too,

That we will set aside fairy tale day dreams,

and see simply and directly a new way to live.