Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fr. Matthias Neuman's Homily for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: Is 50:5-9; James 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35

It’s been a hard week for me. Even more so for my mother. And far more for her roommate, Marian, and her family. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it looked like Marian was going to die. All of her ten children came to be at her side. Needless to say, the crowds in the room and hallways distressed my mother. But she took it like a trooper. She said, "I’ve had to adjust to many different things in my life, and I can adjust to this." Still it was easy for her to get discouraged with all the sad faces around and all the crying. I’ve been going over to the Hermitage three times a day just to get her out of the room. On Thursday Marian got a little better. She woke up and was able to respond to questions. Some peoples’ hopes were raised. Then on Friday she began to go downhill quickly again, and finally died about 4:00pm that afternoon. It was a hard week all around.

As I read over the readings for today’s mass, the one passage that jumped out at me was from the prophet Isaiah, "The Lord God is my help." We could also say, "The Lord God is my hope, my only hope." We all know that there are times in life when that’s the only prayer we can say. As Marian’s children sat around waiting, waiting, and waiting, I suspect these words of Isaiah would have spoken to them very directly.

If you step back and think about it for a while, that’s really the very last prayer for each of us: "The Lord God is my help!" We will all come to a time sooner or later when our only prayer will be "The Lord God is my help, and my hope, my only hope."

Let’s take a moment of quiet and pray for and with all those people who will have to pray that prayer this day.

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