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Homily: Fifteenth Wednesday of Ordinary Time

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Fifteenth Wednesday of Ordinary Time (Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12) “Get Fired Up”

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”   Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I heard this poem quoted years ago by a priest in a homily. He was speaking to a group of priests trying to exhort them to take chances and look for new opportunities to serve God’s people. He used this verse in connection with the story of Moses approaching the burning bush.

It does seem like some people are more observant than others. Would other shepherds have just gone on their way when they saw the burning bush? Probably. Other men might have felt like their eyes were playing tricks on them. And some might have covered their eyes in fear and hurried away.

Moses had the courage to walk up to the bush to see what was going on. He also had the audacity to dialogue with God. But perhaps his greatest feat was that he acted on what was revealed to him.

Moses could have left the burning bush and forgotten the whole thing. What an outrageous plan it was to go to Egypt and confront Pharoah without an army or any way to fight for freedom. But Moses did what God asked him to do.

I know that when I have taken a chance and tried something new, it has led me into difficulties at times. But moving with the Spirit has also led me to meet new people and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone. It is much easier to stay home with my feet up on the couch and just let life pass me by.

Moses became one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world. He did not slip into obscurity because he listened to God’s voice and acted.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is one opportunity I let slip by that I wish I had not? How do I feel about that today?
  2. What excuses could Moses have used not to answer God’s call? Do I use some of the same excuses?

 

Dear Parishioners, 

          Today I will be going to have a funeral Mass for a dear friend of mine who died last year. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to have his Mass right away.

          He was my basketball coach in seminary. I also played one year of soccer for him. Ron pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. He was a burning bush in my life. He was a great influence on a lot of young men. I think coaches have a profound opportunity to mentor others.

          If they are men and women of principle, they are a moral compass that can point the way. The key to a great coach is that they care more about the experience of the young people on their teams rather than their own ego. Today would be a good day to thank a coach who has influenced you.

          I will not have a reflection the next couple days since I will be out of town. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Ron Altstadt on Thursday.

          May Our Lady and all the Angels and Saints watch over you.

          Fr. Mark