The grace of God at work
Father Andrjez Wyrostek
Homily from the Televised Mass, NewsCenter1
Thiry-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 5, 2023
My friends, one of the great things that we have as a way of learning, of understanding who God is, and faith and how it works and how we fit to it, is the formation of our conscience. Many of us long to hear the voice of God and so we look for that moment when you can turn up the volume a little bit more on perhaps your TV or radio, and suddenly you hear the voice.
Well, with God, it doesn’t always work like that. Those who hear the voice of God, it happens only seldom. But God speaks to us. He talks to us all the time, constantly. It is something that through the formation of our conscience we come to learn and understand as the grace of God and work, and that grace of God and work takes on a variety of shapes, and reasons, and possibilities.
As beautiful as our world is that we live in and as unique as each of us is, so is that grace of God at work in us. We develop our conscience so that we can look around or in our life and listen to the voice of God through the grace at work.
Over several weeks now we have been looking and experiencing the work of God, or the grace of God at work, in a variety of different ways. Be it the beautiful invitation of the king who invites the guests to the wedding banquet. Not only inviting them, but also providing them with the wedding garment. A beautiful reminder of the gift of our Baptism.
Then we come to the moment when people, when they experience the movement of their conscience or their heart or soul, they begin to ask questions about faith and God. And two weeks ago we heard the question, “well is it rightful to pay the census tax or not?” And a beautiful answer that Jesus gives, take the coin, which is a part of this world and, looking at its inscription, he tells him, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but to God what belongs to God.”
Last weekend, we reflected a little bit, what’s the difference between Caesar and God. What belongs to Caesar? What belongs to God? Love your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself.
And so, we come to the Gospel passage this weekend when we find ourselves in a particular aspect or look at how we respond to the love of God and to the love of the neighbor. As a priest, when I read this Gospel, it kind of sends shivers up my back because I look at them and say, “I’m called to share the Good News,” and yet at the same time I am reminded that I have to do it with my own conviction as well.
One of the things that year after year we do, the diocese is asking us to help support a variety of the ministries in our diocese. Ministries that help to serve our neighbor. We all desire to be kind to others but then we look also for the opportunity to achieve this. Before I ask any of you to support the Annual Diocesan Appeal, I remind myself, looking at this very Gospel, that before I ask you for any gift I myself have to be the first to fill out the appropriate forms. To make the gift.
So, looking at the formation of our conscience, I invite all of us not only to look at how God speaks to us but also how we respond. Respond to the grace of God at work.