Eighteenth Sunday
in Ordinary Time
A Homily - Cycle C - 2012-2013
by Rev. Luke Dundon


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First Reading - Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
Second Reading - Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Gospel - Luke 12:13-21

Written to explain that
Christ came to save everyone.

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me."  He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?"  Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable.  "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.  He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?'  And he said, 'This is what I shall do.  I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.  There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you , you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"'  But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'  Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.

"Today is a special day.  We celebrate various Saints throughout the year, like February 14th is St. Valentine, March 17th is St. Patrick, and August 4th is St. John Vianney.  He is the patron saint of parish priests.  So itís a special day!  Well that brings up an important question Ė what IS a priest?  Itís easy to define it if you look at an ordained priest like myself or Fr. Donahue, we help to make Jesus present here at Mass and in the sacraments.  But the Church has taught for THOUSANDS of years, every baptized person shares in Jesusí priesthood.  So I think we STILL need to answer the question Ė what IS a priest?  What does Jesus teach us about priesthood in the Gospel today?

Well, itís still summer, so letís have some fun.  I need a volunteer.  A younger volunteer, preferable.

Excellent!  Do you mind being blindfolded?  Very good, thank you.  OK, allow me to blind fold you now.  Weíve used various senses here, hearing, seeing, touching, but today weíre going to use the sense of smell!  So welcome to the smell game.  Youíre going to smell a few things, and youíre going to tell me what it is, and if itís good to eat or not.  Ready OK, here we go!

1      (Strawberries) Ė can you smell this?  Can you tell me what it is?  A strawberry, good!  Is it good to eat?  Yes, itís good to smell and very good to eat and very good for you, thank you!

2      (Donut) Ė can you smell this?  Can you tell me what it is?  Good, a donut!  Is it good to eat?  It might smell good to eat, but itís not very good FOR you!  But very good, thank you!

3      (Bad Cheese, etc.) Ė can you smell this?  Can you tell me what it is?  Is it good to eat?  Good, itís cheese!  Well, this might not smell very good, but it IS very good for you!  Excellent, thank you!

4      (Host) Ė can you smell this?  Can you tell me what it is?  Itís hard to tell what it is, so itís probably hard to tell me if itís good for you, huh . . . yup, thatís just what I thought too, great.  Do you want to see what it is? You can take your blindfold off!

Our little skit here shows us something very important.  Priests are called to serve not just nice foods, not even just donuts, but Jesus Himself!  But as we just saw, Jesus is hard to pick out from all the other foods around us.  We need to smell the difference between our Lord and a bad cheese, or a donut, or even a strawberry.  Unfortunately and sadly, most people in the world have LOST the Scent of God.  Have you ever smelled a perfume and said, ďOh, thatís gramma.  Or thatís mom.  Or thatís my sister Molly.Ē  The beautiful aroma of God is all over creation, but so many people have lost the ability to tell the difference between His aroma, and a cheese pizza.  One will fill up you up for a few hours.  The other will fill you up for millions of years, and beyond.  Thankfully, Our Lordís baptized ďpriestsĒ (ALL of us!) are given the power to ďcatch His beautiful scentĒ from everything else going on in their lives.  And if they get burdened by the worries or concerns or distractions going on in their families (even the things theyíre embarrassed by), then, being good priests, they donít waste time in complaining, they collect all these worries, concerns and distractions, and make an offering to the Lord every time they come back for Mass. 

They offer all of these burdens and difficulties UP at the altar when their ordained priest offers the bread and the wine Ė and than what happens?  God accepts the offering, ALL the offering, and in return gives us Himself, the Lord in turn gives us just what weíre searching and smelling and sniffing and yearning for.  And we leave Mass with this restored power to SENSE and DISCOVER Him in creation, in society, in our own lives and even in our own families.  And so, not just Fr. Donahue, not just myself, but ALL of us here can be good priests, as we can be what a priest IS - - - someone who helps make Jesus present to a world that is LONGING for Him!

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