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Homily by Fr. Paul Plante

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B

July 16, 2000

Scriptural Reference: Ephesians 1:3-14

     As St. Paul praises God for so many blessings in Jesus Christ – and in a special way the blessing of having been chosen – it occurred to me that in the context of being called by God to share in the spiritual riches of Jesus Christ, one of the great blessings is in the support and inspiration that come from others who have also been chosen and are destined to become our traveling companions on this great spiritual journey – basically the people we celebrate the Eucharist with – those whose faith and charity are known to us.

     There are perhaps times in life when we are going through some darkness due to personal problems, moods, depression, misunderstandings or opposition that cause us to obsess over something and we get so wrapped up in the negative and dark stuff that we become disheartened, discouraged or even angry and cynical.

     That is when, more than ever, we need the brightness and goodness of other chosen ones that are traveling with us. Our light has gone dim; maybe we depend on the light of others to see where we are all going.

     I am so grateful for the faith and goodness of so many people I encounter through my ministry. So often I know you are not only with me but literally carrying me through a cloud. Open your eyes and hearts to see how inspiring so many people are.

     There are some very holy people in our midst – they do not necessarily think they are holy. God’s spirit is with us in a special way through them. Be open to sense God’s presence right here at the Eucharist because of the closeness of these people to God as they pray and participate.

     There are people we do not even see at Mass who affect our community. How they feel the pain of being unable to come to church, but their prayer life and care for our parish bring many blessings upon us. I visited one not long ago and she showed me what she was reading – The New Catechism of the Catholic Church – alone at home but so much an integral part of our community.

     There are so many who reach out and volunteer in so many ways. It is hard to imagine how our parish would function without them; they seem to do good and have influence in so many ways.

     There is the inspiration that comes from people who are struggling, do not have it all together but are not going to quit. Isn’t it touching to know that even if someone is having a hard time, that they are trying – a lot of potential there. Something very good will come of the struggle – buds ready to blossom.

     There are all the young adults, youth and children. What a blessing to see so much good parenting and the beautiful results – all that young life for all of us to rejoice in and draw from. How different a picture if children and young people were not among us!

     All together we are like a bouquet of very different but all beautiful flowers.

     All the flowers in those arrangements were gathered from our flowerbeds. They represent us – in all sorts of ways. Some are so evident, others are discreet. Some are still buds that will someday bloom; some are vines that cover a lot of territory. All are beautiful and needed.

     The main difference if course is that people are so much more beautiful and inspiring!

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