29th Sunday iun Ordinary Time – The Homily

I was reading an article from Matthew Kelly, who posed an interesting question: Do you pursue what you what or do you pursue what you need? Society has been pursuing what it wants for years, with the 1960s being perhaps the watershed of this philosophy. Yet, after decades of doing this, there is no compelling evidence that pursuing what you want will lead to happiness.

So what do you need?want need

  • To know what is true,
  • Committed, healthy relationships,
  • A healthy body and personal lifestyle,
  • Having fun but living in moderation,

What else do you NEED?

Have you ever woken up feeling completely wrecked when the alarm clock goes off, despite the fact that you have slept “enough” hours? Other days you spring out of bed with a smile on your face, feeling completely rested even though you shouldn’t. According to the SleepCycle App, there is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you NEED to function optimally. Just because you’re able to operate on seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel a lot better if you sleep an extra hour or so. Consider some of the ” myths” that surround the amount of sleep that you “need” (or don’t need):

  • Myth 1: Getting just one hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning.
  • Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to varied and different sleep schedules.
  • Myth 3: Just a little extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue.
  • Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.

You need good, quality sleep. You’re hard-wired that way. You, and your body, will not be happy with a continued pattern of too little or poor quality sleep.

William Hybels

William Hybels is the founding and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the most attended churches in North America, with an average attendance of nearly 24,000. He is arguable one of the prolific writers/teachers/lecturers of leadership skills within the Christian church community. In reflecting on any success that he has had over the years, Pastor Bill has come upon the idea that he – and others – NEED to simplify their lives in order to be effective, healthy and happy.


His new book, SIMPLIFY, looks at Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 (“There is a time for every season … “) as a point of departure to simplify one’s life:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace – a time to refrain from embracing,

A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

To every “season” – and for every time in between seasons – there are often strong emotions attached. St. Francis De Sales once said that “We cannot not be ruled by our emotions, but we have to pay attention to them. It is there, that the Holy Spirit resides.” When we find ourselves struggling in life and emotions are high and we think that we’re doing something wrong and if we just get active to try and address the problems … STOP! stop

Pay attention to the emotions.

Ask yourself, “What season in life am I currently in?

Why am I feeling the way that I am?

Is this perfectly normal?

Is the Lord trying to tell me something?  If so, What is the message?


In each “season” – if you are going to be happy – you must focus on what you need – and not merely on want you want. To determine what you NEED, according to day’s Scripture readings, you’re going to need to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s; and render unto God what is God’s.


Audio version of the homily is here:

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