Blessed by the Lord - Weekday Homily Video
Back in the old days, in the Quincy public schools, grades 7-9 were called junior high. In ninth grade, many of my classmates and I had Mr. Jack Buckley for history class. Mr. Buckley was a gifted teacher and storyteller who could draw you into any historical period of time, causing you to boo the villains, root for underdogs, and cheer on heroes, and have you wanting to know what happened next, even after the bell had rung. But his greatest gift was how he convinced each of us that we had some talent or gift that we should share with our class and the wider community.
I thought of Mr. Buckley as I read St. Paul’s letter to the Romans when he said, “We, though many, are one Body in Christ.” Mr. Buckley stressed the need to step up as role models, not only for the younger students, but for the school and our city. He convinced some to run for school office, others to be captains on sports teams, and others to enter oratorical contests, science fairs, or join the band or chorus, you name it. Before the first month was over, he had convinced a group of self-conscious fourteen-year-olds that we all had something to offer, and our class had a responsibility to share it.
Many Different Gifts
St. Paul is telling the Romans, and now us today, that through the grace of God, we, too, have a variety of gifts. We can see this beginning in our families, where some naturally notice when people need a pep talk or a helping hand. Others have a strong faith in God’s guiding presence in their lives, or perhaps it’s the gift of serving as a peacemaker when things go sideways in a stressful moment.
In my family, it was my Mom who saw the needs of others and quietly reached out and helped all sorts of people while making it fun as well as a teaching moment. My Dad was the one who could reduce the seemingly complicated and heated situations of family life to one or two sentences, and then it would seem possible to solve. He also possessed a God-given natural GPS; no matter where we went, he always found the way. My younger brother possessed a natural care for the poor and was the one who asked the hard questions about what was going on in the world and what the Catholic Church said about it. He was our young theological philosopher when I was only interested in the sports page. My parents and Mr. Buckley both preached that God has given us gifts to use not just for ourselves but for our families, friends, parishes, and even those we don’t yet know by name.
None of this is ever perfect, which is why St. Paul tells us to love sincerely, hate what is evil, hold on to what is good, and love one another with mutual affection. To not grow slack in zeal but to fervently serve the Lord. To rejoice in hope and endure affliction, to persevere in prayer.
One Body in Christ
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us that “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” Like the man who invited many to a great dinner, God is inviting us as members of the Body of Christ to make time to pray, to listen, and to act on God’s will. If we take the time to know ourselves, our family members, neighbors, classmates, and fellow parishioners, we will see how much God has blessed us, and we will be able to encourage one another to share our gifts, as one Body in Christ, sometimes in ways that will surprise us, but that God intended all along.
May God bless our families who are our first teachers in what it means to be one Body in Christ.
- Father David's inspirational homily was recorded live during Mass at the Father Peyton Center this morning. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
- To view the Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (If you are not a member of Facebook and a signup window appears, simply select the X at the top of the pop-up message and continue to the livestream.)
About Father David Marcham
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!