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When We

By: Father David Marcham on September 22nd, 2023

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When We're Hesitant to Change – Weekday Homily Video

Strengthening family unity  |  Healing the family

I want to begin by asking: how many of you like change? You might answer, it depends, is it for the good or not? And what will it take? All good questions.

As we heard yesterday, there was a radical change from the time Matthew followed Jesus, both literally and in how he lived.

I believe Matthew’s decision and transformation is a reminder to all of us that being a follower of Jesus involves a series of changes, not always easy ones, and not just for the early years of our lives or only at key moments such as marriage or ordination but throughout our whole lives. Life with Jesus is all about being willing to grow into a deeper relationship with Him, and all that concretely means.

Competing Well for the Faith

But, many times, we’re hesitant to even consider change unless, of course, things are unbearable, but even then, we can be tentative. We don’t often think of the heroes of the bible as experiencing growing pains in carrying out the mission. However, in St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy, Paul is encouraging Timothy to “… compete well for the faith.” It seems that Timothy’s youth, the variety of the people he was seeking to teach Jesus’ message, and some possible temptations have St. Paul giving Timothy a faith instruction and pep talk.

St. Paul goes on to say, “Lay hold of eternal life to which you were called.” What Paul says to Timothy, to “… compete well for the faith” and “… lay hold of eternal life to which you were called,” also applies to us.

So how do we compete well for the faith?

1. We need to look at how our lives match up to doing the will of the Father. Are we open to His guidance and teaching?

2. As we gain knowledge of the faith and grow in our relationship with God, are we willing to serve Him? This is the part that can be one of the biggest challenges. Like Timothy, we might be committed to following Jesus, but only so far, only as far as our favorite pew in church.

We May Need a Pep Talk or We May Offer One

This is when we are called to grow in our trust in Jesus. When we are invited to a greater participation in building up the Kingdom of God through becoming a lector, serving on the parish council, teaching religious education, visiting the homebound, or assisting the poor, to name a few … yes, there might be trepidation, but this is when we turn to God and the people He places in our lives, like St. Paul for Timothy.

I can tell you firsthand, I’ve said to God, well if you want me to do this … this thing I’ve never done before, I’m going to need Your help.

I would also say, for those of us who been on this earth for a while, we can be like St. Paul for others. We understand their hesitancy but also see their gifts and faith.

Supporting Jesus' Mission

In today’s gospel we hear how Jesus was journeying from one town to another preaching and proclaiming the Good News. And, accompanying Him were the Twelve and some women. Those women, grateful for the healing in their lives, sought to provide resources to support Jesus’ mission.

My brothers and sisters, each in our own way, have been healed by God. First in our Baptism and countless times in the Sacrament of Confession. And, then there are the times, whether we knew it or not, Jesus touched our lives, lifted our spirits, protected and led us toward the truth and the good through His Word and the Eucharist.

Now, it is our turn to continue to grow, to compete well for the faith, not just for ourselves but for our families, friends, and all those God puts into our lives.

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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!