MONDAY HOMILY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY YEAR A (Mother Cabrini)
THEME: What A Drag!
By: Deacon Bill Frere
Altar of Crucifixion, Church of Holy Sepulchre
Gospel – Luke 17:1-6
Daylight savings time ended last weekend. Ugh! While I appreciate, at least for one night, getting an extra hour of sleep, sunset happening at 4:30 in the afternoon is rather depressing. We are quickly heading into winter, longer nights of darkness, shorter days of sunlight. Cold and darkness! For many of us, it can be a time of isolation and sadness, depression and hopelessness. It tends to drag us down and put us into the doldrums.
And that takes us to today’s Gospel and the one word that resonates with me – millstones! Millstones are huge circles of stones used to grind grain down into flour. In the ancient world, millstones weighed hundreds of pounds. Just imagine one of them draped around your neck.
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Today’s Gospel uses them as a punishment for those who cause sin to others. But consider, if you will, the millstones that we are all shackled with. Some are of our own making – selfishness, greed, jealousy, ambition and pettiness. These we have deliberately chosen and they distract us from our true mission of love and compassion. Other millstones may have been thrust upon us – dealing with a crippling disease or loss, fear of the future or our job or finances, or worries about our country and our world. Consider all our children and grandchildren who continue to suffer from and carry the burdens of the effects of Covid – physical pain, depression, and isolation. Whatever the circumstance, they drag us down, immobilize us and prevent us from moving forward in life.
Whatever weighs us down, whatever paralyzes our good intentions, Jesus reminds us in another passage: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We celebrate today the feast of Mother Cabrini, a pioneer in providing education and social services to the poor, the sick, the orphaned and the immigrant! She was the first U.S. citizen to be canonized a saint. Throughout her life, she labored to meet the human and physical needs of the poor and disadvantaged. But she did so with a firm faith in God and a belief that He was directing her ministry. She kept her feet firmly on the ground and her heart directed to the Father.
Lay your burden down. Trust in the Lord, our Savior and our God!
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