Sunday, October 16, 2016

That Faith "Thing": 29th Sunday Ordinary Time (C); To the Confirmandi

Today was one of those rare Sundays in which I have to prepare two homilies, as I was preaching to two different groups. Saturday night I preached specifically to the confirmandi and Sunday morning to the the regular 8:00AM crowd. Here is the confirmandi version of my homily.

     Today’s Gospel ends with a very disturbing question by Jesus. “When the son man comes, will he find faith?” I find this question disturbing because it is a direct challenge to my own “spiritual comfort zone”. I like to think that I have a strong faith, a faith I could show the Lord in my last day and say “Master, Look what I did with the talents you gave me”; and then I start remembering all the times I was less than faithful. You know the times I didn’t pray when I was supposed too, the times I received communion knowing that I was less than ready to receive the Lord, the times in which I thought that just doing the minimum effort was good enough, even the times in which I told myself “God will understand”, before going ahead and behaving in a less than Christian way. And then I start thinking that perhaps I am not as ready to show my faith to the Lord as I thought I was. To me it is not if I will show the Lord my faith, but what kind of faith I will end up showing him.
   In fact, I'm convinced that for Christians who want to take theirs faith serious, asking themselves every day “If the Lords were to come to me today what kind of faith will he find?” is a good and helpful thing.
   Now tonight we are lucky, we have a big group of our future confirmandis with us here, so I would like to direct the rest of my homily to them.
   My dear confirmandi, I know who you are and I know why you are here. You are the future of our parish, our church, our country and our world.  I know that some of you are not too sure why you are here, I also know that some of you do not want to be here, and that the only reason why you are here is because of your parents.
    I know that for the majority of you this faith thing is very confusing, and that in fact it seems that the only place in which faith is important is in church. Outside of these walls faith is boring, unimportant and even embarrassing.
   I know that that some of you are even questioning the very existence of this faith, this church and even God himself. I’m here to tell you it is OK. To have faith is to question, to doubt and to seek. You might be thinking why would I want live a life with doubt? Because to have faith also means to have hope. Hope in the future, hope in yourselves and hope in the fact that there is a destiny for each one of us which is eternal. Where we will meet all those who have passed from this life into whatever is awaiting on the other side.
  If you can identify yourself with what I just told you, then I want to make you a promise. I want to promise you that if you really invest yourself in this program, if you honestly think about the important issues we will be discussing during the next few months; I assure you that all of your questions will be answered and if they are not, just come to me and I will do my best effort to give you an acceptable answer.
   Lastly I will like to tell you this, you might have many reasons why you are here tonight, some of you just want to make your parents happy, others might think that “this is what we do in my family” and even others might be here just because there is a cute girl or guy here too. Regardless of what you think your reason is I want to tell you this: The reason why you are here today is because God wants you to be here, He has called you, you have not answer to His call yet, but at least you stopped looking at your phone and social media long enough for Him to catch your attention. That is all God needs, that is all he asks, God has called you and you have heard this call: What are you going to do about it?
  God bless you all, and I hope to see you all back here in April to meet the bishop and receive the Sacrament of confirmation.

"VIva Cristo Rey!!"