My homily for 19th Sunday of the Year

Life can sometimes be boring, monotonous or just difficult

This time of the year the vast majority of people are on holiday. And holidays are wonderful. But great as they are, generally we want to get back from them; get back to normality. We know that life can’t be one long holiday, so it is good to get back to all that is familiar. But sometimes holidays can be so good that we don’t want them to end; we just want to stay where we are for ever. Maybe, sometimes, this isn’t so much because of the holiday rather that we don’t want to go back to reality.

Life can be boring; it can be dull; monotonous, routine; and sometimes it can be a lot lot worse. I’m sure that more than one person can identify with Elijah in the first reading:he sat under a bush and says to God: “I’ve had enough”. Have you ever felt like saying that? Maybe you’ve actually said it: you wouldn’t be alone. What does Elijah do? He lays down, he can’t go on, and he goes to sleep; no doubt hoping that when he awoke all would be changed; that life would be different, easier; or, perhaps, he hoped he never would awake again. Elijah may be an ancient profit, but there are many people today who know exactly how he felt.

In Elijah’s case an angel touches him and tells him to ‘get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you’. And so he does. We don’t usually have Angels waking us up and telling us to eat, but we do have Christ. He sees us when we’re tired and he feels compassion. He knows when we just want to lie down; to be left alone; when all we want to do is sleep. He encourages us. Every Sunday he feeds us with his own body and blood. In this way he touches our lives; he lifts us up; he supports us when we’re feeling down. This is why we need to come to Church. We need to be strengthened for our journey in life.

Every Sunday the lord touches our lives in a special way. He does this because he loves us. He knows our problems, our worries and our cares. He knows that these can get on top of us at times. But he insists that we come together on a Sunday so that we may receive the sustenance we need to carry on. Life is not one long holiday. If only it was. But it isn’t. No, life can be hard and difficult. Holidays help us to keep going. But more significantly and importantly, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ help us in ways that a holiday never could. As the psalmist says: “This poor man called; the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress”.

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