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Who Are We Trying to Please? - Weekday Homily Video

Who Are We Trying to Please? - Weekday Homily Video

Strengthening family unity  |  Return to the Church

As I prayed and reflected on today’s readings, I found myself being drawn to the drama in the Book of Exodus; with God, Moses, and the children of Israel. And this led me to ask myself three questions.

1. Who am I trying to please?

2. What does God expect of me?

3. How am I doing?

Who is First?

Well, once again, the children of Israel have gone in the wrong direction. In the absence of Moses, they’ve chosen to create their own idol to worship and not God. In essence, they’re using their gold to represent what they want to believe as success. They’ve taken what they’ve earned or inherited or mined and have placed it above God.

If we’re not careful, we can do the same; maybe not literally melting and molding a golden calf to dance around, though some people still do. But we can choose our careers, academics, sports, theater, etc., and perhaps compromise Church teachings and practice of the faith to achieve success.

In a world where money, fame, and power are seen as goals unto themselves, there’s a strong pull to this way of life. Think for a moment, what advice would you give to a young person who has a chance to make it big in sports, theater, finance, or the tech world? What would you say to them if their first big break involved making a compromise with regard to faith and morals?

Would you have any hesitancy in telling them to do the right thing? Could you tell them there’s something more important in this life and the next than whatever rewards the world offers?

I know this is a tough one as it relates to our choices or what we would advise our family members, but before we look at the children of Israel as separate from our own temptations, we need to ask ourselves: Whom are we trying to please first and foremost in this life? If it’s not God, then we are bound to head in the wrong direction, just like our ancestors in the desert.

How to Apply It

And, once we get question number one right, then number two is pretty straightforward, God expects us to follow the Ten Commandments and all of the Catholic Church teachings.

Last Friday, I gave the spiritual challenge to print them out so you could see them every day for a week.

Next, we can follow a great saint’s example. Saint Ignatius of Loyola practiced a spiritual exercise of examining his day each evening, and it included five points of reflection and action. (Taken from: The Jesuit Institute: jesuitinstitute.org)

  1. Give thanks: Spend a few moments in gratitude for the gifts and blessings of the day.
  1. Ask for light: Ask God to enlighten you, showing where he has been at work and present in your day through events, people, and places.
  1. Examine the day: Review the moments of the day, noticing what has led to consolation and what has led to desolation or discouragement and your reactions to these events, people, and places.
  1. Seek forgiveness: Ask God's forgiveness for the times when you have acted, spoken, or thought contrary to his grace and calling for you (including those Ten Commandments).
  1. Resolve to change: Decide what in your behavior or attitude you will try to improve tomorrow.

God Works with the Smallest Step 

My brothers and sisters, God tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the tiny mustard seed or the smallest portion of yeast when added to a field or dough. Incredibly God can work with our making the smallest step in the right direction to bring about great change for the good. This is our encouragement that with God’s grace, our family members and we can grow in virtue and holiness and, in the end, live lives that please God and that share His love with our families, friends, and all those He places in our lives. Let’s keep at it together, praying together as families and for one another.

May God bless you this holy day! St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

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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!