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

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sun, 01/18/2015
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

If your name happens to be Luke Skywalker, novice jedi knight,
flying a jet fighter, trying to dodge enemy fire,
your mission to destroy the Evil Empire’s Death Star…..stay with it.
If you’re the Bengals’ quarterback, and it’s the 4th quarter of the playoff game,
and you’re team is down by several points….stay with it.
If you’re a student in school, and you find the material difficult,
everyone else seems to be getting it but you….stay with it.
If you’re trying to lose weight but the pounds are reluctant to exit the building,
and you’re tired of fighting your cravings….stay with it.
If you’re looking for that someone…for friendship, or love, or life-commitment
and the phone call doesn’t come or all the qualified people seem to be taken
and you’re tempted to give up…..stay with it.
If you’re in a marriage and the road has become rocky
and your dreams aren’t finding fulfillment, and happiness seems like a memory....stay with it.
If you’re a parent, and you see the value of discipline,
but your children are giving you a hard time
and your neighbors have long ago given up on their own children
and you start wondering if it’s worth the hassle…..stay with it.
If you’re trying to make life work but you seem to encounter an obstacle at every turn
and all the good you do seems to backfire….stay with it.
If you’re struggling to find God but haven’t been able to see,
haven’t had that experience of great discovery,
where peace washes over you and all your cares melt away…..stay with it.
Words of encouragement….we all need encouragement.
It’s so easy to give up…to throw in the towel, to replace our dreams with dead wood.
We set down a path, encounter a challenge, meet up with some resistance,
conclude there must be an easier way, accept defeat, abandon the project,
write off the investment,.
And then we either begin looking for another road to take
or we plop down right where we are and refuse to move or be moved.
We allow ourselves to drown in disappointment
we become imprisoned by our limitations
stuck in the mud of our own self-pity.
It’s an awful place to be….no one wants to wind up there.
One possible solution is to look out for one another….
offer words of encouragement:  me to you and you to me.
offer words like “stay with it” when we see others striving for some good
or attempting to overcome some obstacle,
or achieve a higher level of human completeness.
Our presence here today reflects a decision.
Somewhere along the line, we have chosen Christ,
accepted Jesus for what he claims to be:  the Messiah, the Son of God;
hoping to share in his victory over death
believing in his promise of eternal peace in God.
But there are temptations to give up the journey
to listen to other voices, to buy into other philosophies of life,
to bow down to other gods, false gods
because of their promise of immediate gratification
or personal glorification
or effortless gain.
And so we are encouraged….stay with it.
“You have chosen Christ….stay with it.”
Look at Andrew and Simon Peter….they stayed with Christ….
and not just for an afternoon, they stayed for the duration.
Other disciples moved on or fell to the wayside.
Andrew and Peter were among those who stayed.
And because they stayed they learned….watching and listening,
…they grew in understanding and faith.
With the passing of each day their love for this holy man increased
as did their desire and willingness to stay connected to him.
Do you know me?  Who here knows me?
You know my name.  You’ve talked with me in passing.
You’ve heard my homilies.
You may even have spent time with me on a retreat or during marriage preparation.
You may have heard stories….I’m sure there’s some juicy gossip out there.
But you don’t know me.
If you want to get to know me…you’d have to stay with me.
Move into the rectory.  Follow me through the day…
as I get up in the morning and say my prayers
as I work at my desk, as I visit sick parishioners,
and do my grocery shopping, and go on my camping trips,
and celebrate Mass, and hear confessions,
and deal with the problems within my own family.
If you want to know me, stay with me.
I need to take a step backward.
I wasn’t inviting anyone to live with me in the rectory.
First of all, the rectory is too small.
Secondly, there’s enough scandal in the church as it is; we don’t need any more.
But you get my drift.
You really don’t know someone until you stay with them.
That’s true for me.  That’s true for you.  And that’s true for Christ.
Our Catholic faith is not about following the rules
or participating in rituals or dropping money in the collection basket.
Our faith is about a person:  Jesus Christ.
And if you want to know this person, understand this person,
connect with this person, love this person….
you must, and I emphasize…you must stay with this person….
walk with him through the scriptures,
encounter him in the Eucharist
be with him in the poor, the lowly, the suffering.
I can share with you my experience of Christ…how he has affected my life.
You can read about the lives of the saints and about miracles
but this is all second hand.
If you never stay with Christ, close up and personal, you will never get to know him.
And if you never know him, you will never know true joy, true peace, true love.
If you’re a disciple of Jesus Christ,
if at some point in your life, you have accepted the invitation to follow him,
then stay with it….stay with him.
As you drive back and forth to work…stay with him.
As you sit in class, study your lessons….stay with him.
As you get frustrated or angry…stay with him.
As you seek to resolve conflicts…stay with him.
As you deal with daily struggles….stay with him.
As you suffer with physical or spiritual pain….stay with him.
As you lay on your deathbed….stay with him.
Get to know Jesus Christ now….and you’ll get to know him forever.
Stay with Jesus Christ in the here and now,
and you’ll get to stay with him forever.