Twenty-Sixth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Oct 3, 2017


1 October 2017


Hatley–the town where I grew up–was small.

There were, I’m sure, many things which went on that most of us never knew about.

I think there were some people in our small town who suffered great injuries,

                       and none of us ever knew about them.

            I think there were some people who endured great hardships,

                       and none of us ever knew about them.

I think there were some people who made great promises to God, and kept them,

                        and none of us ever knew about them.

These were people who neither said “yes” to God and then never acted,

or who said “no” to God and then acted.

But this latter group said “Yes,” to God and acted on that “Yes.”

For example, it wasn’t until I was much older that I learned the man who often cut my hair,

                       was almost killed during the Korean conflict.

In a bloody raging battle to take a hill that no one even remembers today,

                           he was severely wounded,

                            and his buddies risked their lives to carry him out to an aid station.

While he was being carried out he thought he was going to die.

And in those secret moments when his life hung in the balance,

                                     he promised if he made it back home alive,

                                     he would never, ever again miss Sunday Mass.

It doesn’t seem like a lot to offer God for a whole life time does it?

                        Sunday Mass–once a week?

And yet it was a life time commitment never to forget about God.

It was in the extreme moments of his life in Korea that this man learned

                              that while God is faithful to us, we are also called to be faithful to God–

                              in real and specific ways, not just in that generic I’m not going to kill someone.

That man kept his promise–never missing Mass.

                        And you know what–he was a better man for keeping that promise–

                                       a better man who did not let the trauma of that event turn him sour,

                                       But who lived every week with a grateful heart.

He was a man who visited my father in the nursing home every week until my father died.

Question of the week.  We’ve all made promises to God.

Most of us never believe we actually have to keep those promises.

What is a promise you can this week that you can keep.