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Author, Priest, Poet

August 19th, 2001

Catholic Homilies

August 18th, 2013

"I came to cast fire upon the earth"

Luke 12:49-53

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Background:

The Gospel today continues the emphasis on urgency in the message of Jesus. He is not praising family quarrels. Nor is he advocating them. But he is saying that, however essential family ties may be, we cannot permit them to interfere, in the really and truly important things in life.

There are no magic formulae for balancing the demands of family and the demands of faith. Usually we must try to respond to both. No one can use God as an excuse for abjuring responsibility to spouse and children and parents.

...yet there are times when we are backed into a corner and must choose.

Fr. Greeley's Last Book:Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church

00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

Once upon a time at the end of a summer vacation, a young man called his mother and father and brothers and sisters together after a day on the beach. There was something important he wanted to tell them. He was going into his third year at college (pick whatever one you want). His grades were wonderful, he was charming, and popular, and successful. Everyone   expected he would do important things in life. His father was a medical doctor and from the day this eldest son was born he assumed that the boy would follow him into his profession. There had never been any discussion of the matter. No discussion was necessary. Occupational inheritance was taken for granted.

So what was the important subject he wanted to talk about? Well, you guess it. He had the crazy idea he wanted to be a priest. In fact, he was going to the seminary in September. There was a moment of dead silence. Then the father said that no son of his was going to become a priest. He had no respect for priests. They were parasites. If his son wanted to be a priest, then he would no longer be his son. Then the father stormed out of the room and left everyone in silence. You have ruined our family, his mother told him. Are you gay, said one of his brothers. You never did like girls, his sister added.

 

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Psalm 40:1-4,17

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods!
17 As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me.  You are my help and my deliverer;  do not tarry, O my God!

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Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
Editorial Review 
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Why Stay Catholic?
Catholic publishing eminence Leach asks, and answers, a good question that the nation’s second largest non-congregation – the church of ex-Catholics poses.
This book has a chapter about Fr. Greeley and is dedicated to him. Great read!
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