- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily for October 16, 2021 – Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time

(Romans 4: 13, 16-18, Luke 12: 8-12)

“[Abraham] is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist” (Rom 7:14). We walk by faith and not by sheer grit or determination. Faith is a gift, freely given and meant to be freely received. It cannot be earned, but it must be cooperated with. We may be unfaithful, but God is ever faithful and that is the reason for our hope. We may falter, but he bends down to us and lifts us up again. We must never forget that the gift of salvation is just that, a gift.

As the People of God, we are called to walk by faith, to lift up our eyes to the Holy Mountain where the Most High dwells and seek His guidance. It is not what we can do by ourselves that matters. What matters is what God does through us. God can produce a bountiful harvest through our fruitless and barren efforts. God honors faith and faithful people honor God. If we want God to do something through us, we must not be embarrassed to give Him our nothing. Like Abraham, we must be willing to hope against hope that God who is faithful to his word can do all that he promised. The key is to trust that God who raised his Son from the dead can do marvels in us. As people of faith, we cannot be indifferent onlookers in our troubled world. We are called to be instruments of peace and love who reconcile the fragmented society and bring people together in communion.

As the universal church begins the synodal process, we are encouraged to continue our journey of faith, being willing to encounter faces, meet eyes, and share one another’s history. If we intend to enter into dialogue, we must be willing to be challenged. As we progress on this journey, we must be willing to be changed. Because each of us encounters the Word of God uniquely and personally, we must be open to the voice of the Spirit echoing in each human heart. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to discern our times in solidarity with the struggles and aspirations of all of humanity. The God of Abraham is calling us to embrace our fruitless and sterile lives and then to surrender all that we are to the movement of the Spirit. In the process, we will be able to embrace one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Like Abraham, we must be willing to walk away from our comfort zones and follow the lead of the Spirit each day of our lives.

Like our father in faith, we will discover that everything changes once we are encountered by God who made us. Our shriveled hearts will be expanded making us capable of loving all that God loves. Our weak limbs will carry us along the path of life. No longer timid or afraid, because we are guided by the inspired Word and willing to the surprised by the workings of the Holy Spirit. Knowing ourselves to be called by God who first sought us, we will rejoice with an inexpressible joy that has been touched by the glory shining on the face of the Beloved Son.