EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Homily / July 31,2016

I’m not a fan of professional sports.  Athlete’s salaries are so high and the cost of tickets and merchandise is so expensive.  I have a hard time justifying the HUGE amounts of money, I mean HUGE amounts that go into professional sports.  But last week, I did look at the sports page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and I read the story of Dare Ogunbowale who plays football for the University of Wisconsin.  He’s a graduate of Marquette Jesuit High School here in Milwaukee, so already he’s got one mark against him for being Jesuit-trained!  But he was chosen to speak at a Big Ten meeting last week, and he addressed the issue of division and segregation in our country.  He related it to sports, and said, “In our world, the things that make us different, the unique things that each member of our teams brings to the table, aren’t things that divide us.  They’re the pieces that fit together to make us complete, pieces that make us a team.  Why not take that mind-set beyond the locker room or beyond the stadium and carry that mind-set into our everyday lives?”

 The second reading today from St. Paul essentially says the same thing.  The reading closes with that powerful line “Christ is all and in all.”  In another piece of Scripture, God says to one of the prophets, “You look at the outer appearance, but God looks into the heart.”  We are challenged to look into the heart of one another, and when we do, when we can, we see no divisions between us.  We do not see black or white or brown or red.  We do not hear English or Spanish or German or French.  We do not see male or female.  We do not see rich or poor.  We do not see Christian or Jew or Muslim.  We do not see straight or gay.  We see Christ who is all and in all.  The eyes and heart of true followers of Jesus see that differences enrich us, not divide us.  Differences complete us, not threaten us.  Differences open us up to a greater knowledge of God and expand our all-too-small vision of who we think God is. 

St. Francis Parish does that pretty well.  I’ve told you before that with the unity and community we experience, you are a great sign of hope to Milwaukee and our Church.  Like Dare Ogunbowale, Why not take this experience, this belief beyond this church and carry that it into our everyday lives?  It is a testimony to our belief that Christ is all and in all.