The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

29th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Sat, 10/22/2016
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Are you a “devout” Catholic?  …loyal to Catholic duties and religious exercises?
…committed and dedicated to acts of piety and prayer?
Do you fulfill your Sunday and Holy Day obligations?
Do you dip you finger in the Holy Water font blessing yourself as you enter and depart the church?
Do you genuflect before entering the pew, and genuflect when leaving?
Do you fold your hands, participate in Mass by singing and responding with enthusiasm?
These are things “devout” Catholics do.  Are you a “devout” Catholic?
Is it your intention to remain a “devout” Catholic?
Are you zealous in living and promoting a devotional life and the worship of God?
Do you have a concerned interest in religious practice?
 
If you are a “devout” Catholic then you can count yourself to be in the same category and group
as current Catholic vice presidential candidates, current Catholic congressmen and congresswomen, many current Catholic political leaders.
They too proclaim that are “devout” Catholics.  They fulfill their Catholic obligations
attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
They bless themselves with holy water, genuflect, sing and respond at Mass with enthusiasm.
They pray, are lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
They drop their envelop in the Sunday collection basket.
They feel good about their relationship with God.
 
You might take offence being grouped together with all other “devout” Catholics.
The problem here is one of language—finding precision and accuracy within speech.
To say that I am a “devout” Catholic has no one consistent meaning.
It’s like saying “I’m a patriotic American.”  Well, what does this mean?
 
A more precise descriptor is needed.
I believe a better question with regards to our Catholic life is this: are you a “faithful” Catholic?
…faithful in your Catholic practice and religious conduct?
Are you a faithful disciple, a faithful servant of God?  Do you have a faithful attitude toward God?
Are you obedient to God?  In your conduct, behavior, activity, are you true to Christ?
Do you embrace the fullness of the Catholic faith or are you a minimalist,
believing and doing only what is absolutely required?
Because of the influence you have on others,
do your words and actions draw others to “sound” Catholic doctrine and teaching?
In other words, are you fruitful?  Does your life bear fruit that is beneficial
for the salvation of others? 
Or….are you a tree that bears rotten fruit?
Are you an unproductive Catholic, a barren Catholic, a partial, part-time Catholic?
Do you go out of your way to win public popularity and favor and to avoid persecution?
Do you believe that you have spiritual knowledge that others do not have,
and that this knowledge gives you certain insights that others don’t have.
(If you believe this, you would be a gnostic, not a Catholic.)
 
In today’s Gospel Jesus impresses upon his disciples the necessity to remain faithful.
He also impresses upon them that the need for repentance is universal.
Everyone needs to repent, and not just notorious sinners.  And everyone needs to repent NOW!
No one is guaranteed a future.  It is only because of God’s mercy that we have one.
 
Our prayer for today:  “O Lord, I am a person who tries to understand your presence and activity in this world.  I try to follow Your Son Jesus Christ.  Help me to embrace a life that is faithful to his message of salvation.  Don’t cut me down because of my infidelity. Cultivate my spirit that I might bear much fruit.  Amen!”