We had a guest priest today at mass. Maybe some of you have heard of him, Fr. McCafrey. If not, I'll explain a little about him. He is an 80 year old, retired army Chaplin priest who travels the world preaching on the harmful effects of contraception and sterilization in marriages and the meaning of the Church's teaching on these matters. Today he also preached on the beatitudes since that was this morning's gospel. I came home so refreshed to have heard such a bold and honest homily. Although his homily was completely counter cultural, it was refreshing for a priest to finally stand up and give a call to action for his people. He spoke beautifully about how the beatitudes are our way to sanctity and how contraception is killing our marriages and our Church. How if we aren't pure of heart and keep sin in our lives, God cannot work fully through us. He spoke about how money becomes our God and overindulgence in worldly things cripples our soul. He called all of us there to start living our faith, because if we did the whole world would change. And lastly he asked those in the parish who had a hard time with the church's teaching to go home, get on their knees, and ask our Lord to open their eyes to His truth.
In the world we live in today, we should be hearing a homily like this every single Sunday. But in the last ten years of my life, I could probably count the number of times on my hand I have heard a homily about sacrifice and becoming saints. Why are our priests so scared? Why do they feel the need to get up to the pulpit every Sunday and give a bunch of fluff and psycho-babble bull honky? The truth is, Christ calls us to "take up our cross" not "feel good all the time". This is what Christianity means. This is what Christianity looks like.
It's not about some feel good praise and worship music or a really awesome and talented preacher. It's about that picture right up there. It's about submitting ourselves to the Father's will like Christ did and living out the sometimes hard truth's of Christianity. Nothing great in life is every easy. So enough of the fluff already. It's time to start embracing our cross, not running from it. It's time to start living our faith, even if we are hated for it. It's time to start denying ourselves instead of giving into every whim and want of our body. It's time to start letting our priests know how much we need the bold, and sometimes hard to hear truth on Sundays. It's time we start living the beatitudes. Only then will the world start to change; only then will we be saints.
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