Curated preaching illustrations and anecdotes from Fr. Tony Kadavil. NEW! Now with videos; Also includes Fr. Tony’s commentary, and Children illustrations/object sermons.
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL (3:35) – A distracting radio issue, a hazy night, and a new pilot unsure of his instruments. According to investigators, these were some of the possible factors that led to John F. Kennedy Jr.’s tragic plane crash in 1999.
Practical Points of Christian Living
The conventional wisdom is that every homily should begin with a story to capture the congregation’s attention and to introduce the theme. Here is one example. Visit Fr. Tony’s website for a whole lot more.
In 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren, had a wedding to attend in Hyannis Point, Massachusetts. Since John had his pilot’s license, they decided to fly there. Now John had 310 hours of flying experience, but not a lot over water at night. I suppose he must have believed he could handle it, though, and they set out for Hyannis Point. But the plane never made it to its destination and unfortunately all were killed.
Though most of us aren’t pilots, and therefore don’t need to know about airplane instruments, most of us here are claiming to be disciples or followers of Jesus. We claim and think our lives are headed in the right direction, but are they really? How would we know? What identifies true disciples who are going in the right direction? Can we depend on our feelings, ideas or the opinions of others to guide us to the right answers and in the right direction? No! Just as a plane has instruments to indicate its true position there are also the spiritual indicators or gauges that indicate our true position as true followers or false followers of Jesus. What indicators identify true disciples? The answer to that question is found in Luke 6:43-45.
SOURCE: Rev. Davi Elvery
Central Theme of the Readings
Jesus draws our attention to practical points of Christian living and challenges us to use our words as he used his in his preaching and healing ministry — to heal, to restore, and to bring back life, joy, and hope. Today’s readings also instruct us to share our Christian life, love, and spiritual health by our words, and to avoid gossiping about and passing rash, thoughtless, pain-inflicting judgments on others, thus damaging their good reputation and causing them irreparable harm.
Scripture Readings Summarized
The first reading, taken from the Book of Sirach, teaches that what is inside us is revealed through our conversation – as the grain and husks are separated in a farmer’s sieve, as the quality of the shaped clay is revealed in the potter’s fire, and as the size and quality of a tree’s fruit reveal the care it has received from the planter. Sirach’s teaching serves as an excellent preview for today’s Gospel, which reminds us, when we’re feeling judgmental, to think before we speak because what comes out of our mouth reveals our heart.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 92) advises us to spend our time praising and thanking God for all His blessings.
In the second reading St. Paul advises the Corinthian Christians “to be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain,” instead of wasting time on useless and sinful conversations, which bring punishment instead of the victory of resurrection and eternal reward. I
In today’s Gospel passage, taken from the Sermon on the Plain given in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus condemns our careless, malicious and rash judgments about the behavior, feelings, motives, or actions of others by using the funny examples of one blind man leading another blind man and one man with a log stuck in his eye, trying to remove a tiny speck from another’s eye.
Choose AS MANY AS TIME ALLOWS
We should avoid judging others because
1) No one except God is good enough to judge others because only God sees the whole truth, and only He can read the human heart. Hence, only He has the ability, right, and authority to judge us.
2) We do not see all the facts or circumstances or the power of the temptation which has led a person to do something evil.
3) We are often prejudiced in our judgment of others, and total fairness cannot be expected from us, especially when we are judging those near or dear to us.
4) We have no right to judge because we have the same faults as the one, we are judging and often in a greater degree (remember Jesus’ funny example of a man with a log in his eye trying to remove the dust particle from another’s eye?) St. Philip Neri commented, watching the misbehavior of a drunkard: “There goes Philip but for the grace of God.” Abraham Lincoln said that the only one who has the right to criticize is the one who has the heart to help.
5) Hence, we should leave all judgment to God, practice mercy and forgiveness, and pray for God’s grace to get rid of all forms of hypocrisy in our lives. Let us remember the warning of saints: “When you point one finger of accusation at another, three of your fingers point at you.”
End of homily
Jokes of the Week
At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, placeS, OR CONGREGATIONS.
1) Judgmental husband: There’s the story of the conscientious wife who tried very hard to please her ultra-critical husband but failed regularly. He always seemed the most cantankerous at breakfast. If the eggs were scrambled, he wanted them poached; if the eggs were poached, he wanted them scrambled. One morning, with what she thought was a stroke of genius, the wife poached one egg and scrambled the other and placed the plate before him. Anxiously she awaited what surely this time would be his unqualified approval. He peered down at the plate and snorted, “Can’t you do anything right, woman? You’ve scrambled the wrong one!”
2)“Go thou and do likewise!” After a minister preached a sermon on spiritual gifts, he was greeted at the door by a lady who said, “Pastor, I believe I have the gift of criticism.” He looked at her and asked, “Remember the person in Jesus’ parable who had the one talent? Do you recall what he did with it?” “Yes,” replied the lady, “he went out and buried it.” With a smile, the pastor suggested, “Go thou, and do likewise!”
3) Judge Not
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’
Fr. Tony started his homily ministry (Scriptural Homilies) in 2003 while he was the chaplain at Sacred Heart residence, applying his scientific methodology to the homily ministry. By word of mouth, it spread to hundreds of priests and Deacons, finally reaching Vatican Radio website (http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html). Fr. Tony’s homilies reach nearly 3000 priests and Deacons by direct email every week.
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