THURSDAY HOMILY: Leaving the Ninety Nine, Finding the Lost Coin and Living as Leaven in the Loaf
Bishops office where the interview was conducted, there was a bullet hole from a failed snipers' attempt to silence him. The effort failed. The Lord protected him so that he could continue to be the good news. The Bishop explained that he kept it there to remind him that "that life can end in a second. We must not waste a single day."
This Bishop lived as leaven in the loaf. He understood what I mean by redemptively love the world, he was a missionary. He was so configured to the Lord that he echoed that cry of the Apostle Paul in his daily activity, "No longer do I live but Christ lives in me and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God".(Galatians 2:20)
He stayed in Alabania even though he could have engaged in any number of meaningful tasks as an academic, a cleric and a Church leader. He chose to be with those who needed the Lord. He walked into the loaf of the world and offered himself for its transformation. He went after the lost sheep. He searched for the lost treasure.
The writer explained that this holy priest saw 'the despair in the faces of the Albanians." The Bishop told him "I thought. Who's going to help these people? Who's going to give them hope? I knew this was a test and I said to myself, If you have faith, stay and struggle. If you don't, go home".
We may not be called to Albania. However, we are all called into a world desperately in need of God.
The late Blessed John XXIII once wrote "Every believer, in this, our world, must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment in the dough: He will be so to the degree that, in his innermost being, he lives in communion with God. In fact, there can be no peace among men if there is no peace in each one of them."
Will we be "a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment in the dough?" Will we answer the invitation to search for the lost sheep and find the lost treasure?
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Year of Faith, parable, lost coin, kingdom of God, lost sheep, leaven, light, seed, New Evangelization, witness, Deacon Keith Fournier
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