HOMILY FOR MONDAY 26TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A)
By: Deacon Bill Frere
HOMILY THEME: You Are Not Alone
Gospel – Matthew 18:1-5, 1
Sea of Galilee
There is a story about two young teenagers during World War II, David and Rebecca, who were hiding from the Nazis in the darkness of a ruined cellar beneath the Warsaw Ghetto. One night, David returned from a scavenging trip with some badly needed supplies, plus a surprise—a single Hanukkah candle and a match.
David kindles the candle, and the two children stare at the squalor it reveals in their hiding place. They also see each other for the first time in weeks and they see the horrors of war and violence. They note the strength that survives in their eyes. Warmed and awakened by the light of that single candle, David and Rebecca summon the courage to make their move out of their hiding place and toward safety and freedom.
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We all have shadows in our life, some thrust on us and some of our own making! They are the sort of things that keep us from living in the present and planning for the future. They force us to dwell on the past and bring out feelings of anger, regret, resentment, jealousy and even fear. Especially now as autumn begins, daylight disappears much too quickly and darkness descends on us before we know it. It’s hard to keep positive with cloudy skies and early sunsets!
I don’t know about you but, when I think about my guardian angel, they are either burying their face in their hands or shaking their heads in disbelief. What worries we must all put them through! What troubles we must put Our Father through! And yet they remain, constant and faithful, a presence of comfort and protection in our hour of need. They look out for us and shepherd us like a little child.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel “whoever receives one child such as this receives me.” Guardian angels serve as a model of how we should behave as Christians. When we see a child hurting or sorrowful, separated from their family, and confined to a cage, what do we do? When we hear the horrors of native children torn from their families and sent to boarding schools, forced to turn away from their language, their dress, their customs and beliefs, it breaks our heart.
As adults, as Christians, we are called to care for each other, especially the young and the vulnerable. We are all called to comfort and protect them. As parents, as adults, as teachers and EMT’s, as lawyers and politicians, as police and rescue workers, as medical staff and bus drivers, as electricians and bricklayers, as human beings, we are all called to serve as guardian angels for these little ones.
They are a reminder that our fight against evil is never a solitary one; we are not alone! In those moments of trial and testing, moments when we were convinced the battle was lost and we believed we would not survive the night, they stood by our side. In those moments of doubt and fear, they protected us. So today as we celebrate our Guardian Angels, let’s take the time to be an “angel”, to look out for others in need, to shelter them, protest them and encourage them throughout their lives.
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