Twenty-sixth Sunday in OT                                                                                                                                          1 October 2017

What makes us change?

I certainly enjoyed greatly my time with family last weekend for my niece’s wedding.  My retreat this week at Trinity Retreat, Larchmont, was challenging and thoroughly enriching.  Let me thank the many who supported me with prayer through this time.  Please keep that up!

Jesus told a simple story about two sons sent by their father to work in the vineyard.  One readily said “Yes!” but did not go.  The other said “No!” but in the end went anyway.  Why, do you suppose, one changed his mind and did what his father asked when he seemed so rebellious?

Why do people change their behavior anyway?  A young pitcher wants to get to be a better baseball player.  His coach has had a long career playing and instructing.  The wise pitcher listens intently as the coach instructs him about how to grip the ball for the pitch he wants to throw.  Sometimes we change because we observe that somebody else has a better way, and we can profit by following.

At times we Catholic people hear the Word of God, or perceive the stumbling efforts of the homilist to offer something useful, understand we are literally hearing the Word of God, and know that it is meant for us.  Many lives have turned around when the listener found God speaking directly to him or her in the words of scripture or even in the words the priest or deacon used to share what he had found there.

Some years ago a good friend of mine developed quite a problem with cocaine.  At one point I got a phone call and had to drive down to a community north of the thruway to take him to his home after the local police found him sleeping in a crack house in really bad shape.  Sometimes bombs have to drop and our whole lives be in peril before we will go where God is directing.  Thank God, he reformed and was clean and content when he died several years later.

Workers sent into the vineyard!  That is not a simple image of olden times you know.  In scripture the vineyard is always the vineyard of the Lord where God has planted the crops and looks to others to help tend them until the harvest takes place.  The vineyard is the Church; it is the life of the Church; it is here where you and I work out our own salvation shoulder to shoulder with other fallible people of true faith in Jesus, also sent into the vineyard to share in some of the work of Jesus.

What a tremendous blessing when we come around for whatever reason, recognize what the Father is asking of us in the vineyard, and do it!  What a tragedy, with eternal consequences when a person says “Yes!” and then slowly walks away from where they had been directed by God Our Father.  May the fate of that lazy, dishonest, and hope-less son never be yours or mine!

Msgr. John R. Murphy,

Visitation Rectory, Norfolk, NY

 

 

Past Homilies

September 8th 2013

September 15, 2013

September 22, 2013

September 29, 2013

October 6, 2013

October 13 2013

October 20, 2013

October 27, 2013

November 3, 2013

November 10, 2013

November 24, 2013

December 1, 2013

December 8, 2013

December 15, 2013

December 22, 2013

Christmas 2013

December 29, 2013

January 1, 2014

January 5, 2014

January 12, 2014

January 19, 2014

February 2, 2014

February 9, 2014

February 16, 2014

February 23, 2014

March 2, 2014

March 9, 2014

March 15, 2014

April 6, 2014

April 17, 2014 

April 27, 2014 

May 11, 2014

May 25, 2014

June 1, 2014

June 15, 2014

June 29, 2014

July 6, 2014

July 13 2014

July 20, 2014

October 5, 2014

October 12, 2014

October 19, 2014

November 2, 2014

November 16, 2014

November 23, 2014

November 30, 2014

December 25, 2014

December 28, 2014

January 4, 2015

January 11, 2015

February 8, 2015

February 15, 2015

February 22, 2015

March 1, 2015

March 15, 2015

March 22, 2015

March 29, 2015

April 3, 2015

April 5, 2015

April 19, 2015

May 3, 2015

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May 17, 2015

May 24, 2015

May 31, 2015

June 7, 2015

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June 21, 2015

July 19, 2015

July 26, 2015

August 2, 2015

October 18, 2015

October 25, 2015

November 1, 2015

November 22, 2015

November 24, 2015

November 29, 2015

December 6, 2015

December 20, 2015

December 25, 2015

January 3, 2016

January 17, 2016

January 24, 2016

February 14, 2016

March 20, 2016

March 24, 2016

March 27, 2016

April 3, 2016

 

April 24, 2016

May 1, 2016

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June 26, 2016

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July 31, 2016

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September 11, 2016

September 25, 2016

October 9, 2016

October 30, 2016

November 6, 2016

November 13, 2016

November 27, 2016

December 4, 2016

December 25, 2016

January 8, 2017

February 26, 2017

March 1, 2017

March 5, 2017

March 12, 2017

March 26, 2017

April 2, 2017

April 13, 2017

April 14, 2017

May 14, 2017

June 4, 2017

June 11, 2017

July 30, 2017

August 13, 2017

August 20, 2017

September 3, 2017

September 10, 2017

October 1, 2017