“What does the Gospel ask us to give that we cannot afford?”

“What does the Gospel ask us to give that we cannot afford?”

Readings for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

I used to work for a bishop who took great pride in his homilies. He would type them out then mark the places where he planned to pause and the phrases he would emphasize. His meticulous preparation resulted in homilies of depth and challenge. Yet, at dinner he would regale you with story after story, told off the cuff but carried in his heart his whole life.

One year, he was preparing a homily about sharing faith with others. He asked me if I had any thoughts that could help him. I said, “Bishop, why don’t you just tell them your own story of faith?”

A bishop once asked, “What does the Gospel ask us to give that we cannot afford?” That's the question we hear from Jesus. Click To Tweet

The Gospel was the one we have today, and the bishop began by saying, “What does the Gospel ask us to give that we cannot afford?” Then he put down his notes and told us about his best friend growing up. It was a story of deep friendship that turned to despair then, by grace, ended in hope. That story still remains in the hearts of those who heard him because it was clear that it was a story from our bishop’s own heart.

Do not be afraid to put down your notes and just tell your story from your heart. Though you may believe it to be worth nothing, it may hold all the riches of faith for those who hear it.

 
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”

Image credit: Riccardo Annandale, unsplash, CC0.

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