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Catholic Homilies

June 7th 2009 A.D

Trinity Sunday Mt 25/16-20

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Background:

  Unquestionably this a mission Sunday. The followers of Jesus are deputed to go forth to pass on the good news that Jesus had shown them of Godís overwhelming and forgiving love. A lot of time and energy has been poured into that challenge through the ensuing centuries. Often we made a terrible mess of it. We have forced people to be baptized whether they wanted to be or not. Once in Seville Spain, forty thousand Jews were baptized (under pain of leaving the country by priests who strode through cathedral plaza sprinkling water on them. Other times we have forced them to abandon their native cultures and become Europeans like us.  Still other times we bribed them (with rice when they were hungry) to join us. Sometimes we got the point, particularly in very early days and attracted them to the church by the kinds of people we were and by the love we had for one another and for them.

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 How many of you would like to go to a baseball game with me, the enthusiastic parish priest, said to a bunch of teens. I have twenty tickets to a Sox game tomorrow afternoon (Cubs fans will tell you that free tickets for Sox games are easy to find).  About twenty five kids, even some girl kids, put up their hands. Well, said the priest, we can’t take everyone. He almost said girls can’t come because they don’t understand baseball. But his guardian angel intervened and shut his mouth. Instead he said I tell you what, how many of you are Cubs fans? More than half the kids put up their hands, some would say because they had excellent taste, others would say because of genetic programming. Cubs fans, the priest said (thinking he had a way out) can’t go. Sorry. Nine hard core Sox fans approached him with their hands out. He still had eleven tickets. I tell you what, he said, how many of you Cub fans want to convert and be Sox fans for this afternoon only. Well, you know what Cub fans are like? So the priest when to the game with the nine hardcore Sox fans. That night when he explained what happened, the wise old monsignor said, you might have flipped a coin. I never thought of that said the young priest. It’s not evil to ask people to convert to the other team for an afternoon. Alas, how often we have used methods like that against those who are not Catholic, even against those who marry into our families.

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