Homily – Get a Job!

What is the one thing needful?  What is sin?  How is being a good human like working at a corporation?  Today’s homily helps answer those questions.  Enjoy the show!
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Homily on the Parable of the Sower
Luke 8:5-15

The unexamined life is not worth living; we are called to live “the good life”.

But the only way to evaluate your life is if you have a goal. How do you know whether your life is “good” if you don’t have a certain direction you are trying to go?

Once you have a goal, then you can ask yourself how things are going. Without a goal, that question has no meaning. It’s sad, but there are a lot of people who don’t have any goal in life; if you ask them, they might be able to come up with one, but they seem to be searching for it in response to the question. There is no sense whatsoever that this goal has motivated them or provided them with criteria for making good decisions or for judging their past behavior.

This is really sad. When we get a job, our employers tell us what the business is providing to the market and what it is that we are supposed to be doing to help the business. That employer – and we ourselves – then evaluate our performance based on how well we do that thing and how well we help the business do its thing. Without that knowledge, work is just a matter of us looking busy while we’re on the clock or of jumping from one fire to the next without any sense or reason. This is bad for business and it is bad for individual morale. If you’ve ever had those kinds of jobs, you know what I am talking about: they can really suck the joy right out of life.

It’s the same for our lives in general.

That’s why our boss – God – has been so clear about what it is we are supposed to do. He has told us in no uncertain terms what our goal in life is to be. If someone asks you “what is your goal in life” you shouldn’t even have to think twice. It should be the thing that motivates you from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you drift off to sleep at night. It should be the thing that allows you to pick the best path through wilderness of each day and the thing that allows you to look back on each day to evaluate how you did.

What is that thing? It is the thing that is central to our identity and the foundation of our lives. It is the life in Christ.

Let’s go back to the metaphor of the business. This is very Biblical: we call the “Church” a body to help us understand what it is; we call many business “corporations”. Linguistically, body and corporation are pretty much the same thing.

Anyways, when you became a Christian, the Church made it clear what the Head of the Church was trying to provide to the market: healing, comfort, protection, salvation, and, most of all, adopting everyone into the family of the “children of God.”

The Church also made it clear what you, as its newest employee was supposed to do: to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He told us, as members of the Church, to be part of His mission in this world, and that He would be with us as we did it. We are, as St. Paul puts it, to be Christ to this world; to have Him living within in us and us in Him. This is why so many Christians focus on the importance of praying that Christ come into our hearts: it is so that His goal – His will – will become our goal and that He will strengthen us in achieving it.

This goal – of living the life in Christ (with Him in us and us in Him) is so primal. Do you know what we call it when we fail to connect with that goal? When we miss the mark? We call it sin. Sin is every motion that does not take us to the target we were meant to hit. Sin is every action that is not in some way directed towards the accomplishment of God’s will in us or in this world. When God tells us to “be perfect as God is perfect”, it isn’t a command to become all-knowing or all-powerful… that would be silly. It is the command to live without sin; to aim every action at the proper goal and to get better at hitting that goal through continual repetition.

Christ will help us aim and he will help us pull the trigger. He will be there with us as we work and as we recover from your work, and He has sent His Holy Spirit to us to comfort and strengthen us in all we do.

Some join the Church – or recommit themselves to Christ with great fervor – and then they fall away, preferring other goals or the mindless drifting of having no goal. You know the parable and what it means.

And what does it say about real men and women? The kind of men and women we are or want to become? As Jesus Christ our God says;

They are the ones who, “having [received their goal] with a noble and good heart, continually work towards it with patience – and see it bear fruit in their lives and in the world around them.” (paraphrase)

May we now recommit ourselves to the goal of Christ through our participation in this Eucharistic sacrifice and meal.