‘We belong to someone bigger’: Guest Homily for 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

During the summer months, the Diocese of Bridgeport will be sharing homilies from pulpits all over Fairfield County in an effort to showcase our diversity and our communities of faith.

This week’s guest homilist is Father Peter Adamski from St. James Parish in Stratford. This homily from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, specifically targeted the children parishioners as a part of the parish’s monthly Family Mass.

Well, good morning everyone! Good morning. I hope that you all rested ready for a wonderful week ahead.

Who can tell me, what holiday did we celebrate with this past week? The Fourth of July? Yes, this week, we are honoring our country and we’re talking about it. We hear a lot of good things said about our country around the Fourth of July when we celebrate our independence from England, many years ago. We declared our independence from England in 1776, and we see a lot of red, white, blue around these days, don’t we?

We are all citizens of the United States, or we’re trying to become citizens of the United States. Right? And so, can anyone tell me what flag this represents? The American flag, yes! You get 4,353 points for that answer. Yes. The American flag. And you’re gonna see a lot of American flags around this week. I have placed a lot of these American flags around our church grounds this week because we live in the United States, and in my humble opinion, it’s the best country in the world to live in.

So we’re proud of that fact. We all live here. We’re supposed to be good, loyal citizens of the United States. Wave those flags. But you know what, everyone? We belong to someone who is bigger than any one country.

Who can tell me who we belong to? God! Yes, we belong to God. You get a million points for that. Yes, we belong to God and we are should not be ashamed to say that Jesus is Lord. That’s what He wants us to do. He wants us to confess that Jesus is Lord. “Confess” means to speak it with our mouth.

Jesus told us in the Bible that if you confess me, meaning Jesus, I will confess you to the Father, to God the Father. So “Jesus is Lord” is something that we should be not ashamed of, but is something that we should say and do. Right?

So I want you to practice this with me. Say,  “Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is Lord.” Say it again. “Jesus is Lord.” One more time. “Jesus is Lord.” Yes, he is. And I want you to do me a favor this week, okay? Every time after you leave church today, every time that you see an American flag, I want you to say, “Jesus is Lord.” Okay? Better yet, I want you to tell somebody Jesus is Lord, when you see these flags.

Will you do that for me this week, please? Yes, who’s gonna do it? Raise your hand. “Jesus is Lord,” say it again. “Jesus is Lord.” Amen!

So let me just spend a moment talking to the more mature people here in this church. This morning, Deacon Joe proclaimed that beautiful gospel passage where Jesus is in front of his native people. Some of the Pharisees were there, but in his own town, they were looking at him saying, wait a minute. Isn’t this guy a carpenter? Isn’t he the son of Mary and Joseph? We’ve watched him grow up, but he seems to have a lot of wisdom, doesn’t he? And we’ve heard about these miracles that he did.

So there’s kind of this discontinuity going on with Jesus. They’re looking at the external Jesus and saying, he’s just an ordinary guy. But then their hearts are telling them, wait a minute. There’s more to him than him just being a carpenter, my friend.

Sometimes I gotta confess to all of you. I feel that I’m just an ordinary guy because I am. I’m just an ordinary guy. But every once in a while, I do a few things that amaze me. Perhaps I say the exact right thing to someone in counseling, or I say the right thing in that reconciliation room, or I say the right thing at the bedside of somebody who’s ill. And I’m amazed that this came out of my mouth. Or sometimes I’m so generous with some of my treasure that I plan to use to buy something nice for myself. But no, it’s all a gift from God here, it’s yours. And I’m amazed when that happens. Or sometimes I get requests outside of this parish, perhaps to do a funeral or a wedding or to give a talk someplace. And I go that extra mile. And I’m, I’m amazed that I can do that.

But yet, I, I feel that I’m just an ordinary guy. And I think most of us will admit that we feel we’re just ordinary people, living ordinary lives. Am I not the student? Am I not the receptionist? Am I not the accountant? Am I not the construction worker? Am I not … and you fill in the blanks, my friends. We are more than that, much more than that. And God wants us to allow the Holy Spirit that dwells in all of us, to inspire us, to encourage us to live in us, and can go out into that world and be more compassionate, more merciful, more loving, more kind than we ever could imagine us to be.

So don’t ever think of yourselves as ordinary. Yes, none of us are national or international public figures perhaps, but we are not ordinary. You and I are created by Almighty God, and you and I and every other human person has a dignity about them and has a mission from God. And we are to go out into the world and be disciples of Jesus Christ and extensions of Jesus Christ, his eyes and his hands, and his feet, and his voice in that world.

Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever!