Mini-Homily 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012
Seamus McGuinty had two brothers, Andrew and Patrick. In their little town in Ireland the three brothers would go to the pub for a beer every Saturday night. Now, it came to pass that both Patrick and Andrew decided to leave Ireland for new horizons: Andrew went to America and Patrick headed to Australia. The last Saturday before their departure, the three brothers got together for the last time. That night the three brothers promised each other, “wherever we may be, wherever we may go, let’s promise ourselves that on Saturday night we’ll order three beers and remember each other!”
Now many weeks passed and the locals in Seamus’ pub noticed that every week he’d come in and order three pints for himself and sit in his usual booth. Eventually, perplexed by this strange order the bartender approached Seamus, “Friend, may I ask why you come in here each week ordering in three’s.” Seamus explained his pact with his brothers and the bartender’s curiosity was satisfied.
A few months later Seamus came in on Saturday and sat in his usual booth and ordered two beers. After bringing his pints over, showing concern, the bartender remarked, “Oh Seamus, I’m sorry for your brother, what happened?” Seamus looked at the bartender, “Oh may no, thanks for your concern but my brothers are fine.” The bartender asked, “What about the two beers this week?” To which Seamus responded, “I decided to give up drinking.”
Often, like Seamus, we need to give something up for a greater good. In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear a harsh lesson from Jesus that if a limb is causing us to sin, cut it off – if an eye leads us to sin, pluck it out! Christ teach us that whatever is hindering us from entering into eternal life in heaven must be cut out, given up. What hinders us from more faithfully following the call of discipleship?
The only great tragedy for a Christian soul is that we don’t become a Saint – that we don’t receive the crown of righteousness that is eternal life in heaven. Friends, we must continue ask ourselves whether we are simply hoarding up riches on earth, or whether we are enriching the Kingdom of God. Are we beginning to live our heavenly life here, are we willing to give up what is leading us away from God. No time is better than the present, to turn again to God and to give up what is keeping us from love of Him.
P.S. In no way am I advocating the abandonment of beer 🙂