The 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”




Let me begin with some statements on three broad issues:

I. The future of Catholicism:

  • “It is essential that we come to the realization that what got us here will probably not transform the Church in our time into a dynamic and relevant institution…
  • If the Church is to become vibrant again - it is of vital importance that we begin thinking on a whole new level”


II. The culture’s vision for the human person vs. The Church’s vision of the human person:

  • “Consider this one question: What is the present culture’s vision of the human person? When you ask the question, the silence is deafening.
  • Today’s culture doesn’t have a vision for you. It certainly does not have your best interests at heart.
  • What, then, is the culture driven by? Consumption and consumerism? Hedonism which is pleasure masking as happiness?

III. The Church’s vision of the Church:

In 2007 a company decided to do research on the 80/20 principle in terms of the Catholic Church.

  • Was it true that 80% of the financial contributions to a parish came from 20% of the parishioners?
  • Was it true that 80% of the volunteerism in a parish was done by 20% of the parishioners?

217 parishes examined all demographics. The answer: no!

  • 80% of financial contribution comes from 6.8% of the people
  • 80% of volunteerism comes from 6.4% of the people
  • AND, they were the same people.
  • It wasn’t 80 and 20; it was closer to 80 and 7!


Ok, back to the Gospel …


When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

  • Sure, “They doubted.” With the arrest and crucifixion of Christ, they were probably of the mindset, “This is NOT what I thought I signed up for.”
  • Why were the miracles NOT enough to convince them?
    • They couldn’t say, “Great story but no proof.” the personally saw the proof.
    • They couldn’t say, “I wasn’t there.” There were there.
  • To doubt is human. To have doubts about your Church, your faith, your relationship with Christ, your personal vision, your reason for existence is normal ..
  • … however, you can’t STAY there!
  • But how do you move to the next step? 3 suggestions:



  • In terms of the parish vision, this is my job and the job of Parish Leadership.
    • We need to present a greater reality than you might see now.
    • We need to paint a picture of the way the future can be - then come back into the present to show how we can make it a reality.
  • In terms of you and your vision - it starts with a call - to determine your destiny - which flows from your mission - which flows from your purpose for being born.
    • What’s your own, personal vision for your life? Do you have one? If someone were to ask, “Why did God make, specifically, you?” what answer would you give?
      • What are your values?
      • What are your gifts/talents/charisms?
      • What personality traits have aided you in the past? What traits have sabotaged you in the past?
      • Answer these questions and you begin to see what you are to do.


Now, let’s take that and look at the next item:


  • It is easy to float along in life just moving from one event to another - from one experience to another.
  • It is easy to be caught up in all of the problems we have or in the culture we face.
  • This can be distracting for moving from one place to a better place but it does not have to derail that movement.
  • First of all, take comfort, the start - does not depend on you. As we read in the Gospel, “Then Jesus approached (them) …”
  • Intentionality is about your commitment to do the next practical step.

Practical Steps:

  • Start with the simplest baby steps. With just ONE intentional goal or objective towards your own personal movement.
  • The Apostles were knuckleheads but they at least followed orders and did the next step.
    • “Throw the net over the other side.” They do it and experience the great catch of fish.
    • “Go to this mountain.” And they go to the mountain and see the risen Jesus.
  • Pick one - just one - of four areas where you can move in a new direction:
    • For example, 10% tithe may be very daunting if you currently give 2%. Give 1% more each year until you hit 10%.
    • For example, If you don’t have a prayer life, start by praying five minutes each day for 7 days.
    • For example, pick up a book, or a booklet, or a CD. Read or listen for a total of just 10 minutes over the course of a week.
    • For example, talk about Pope Francis, or the World Meeting of Families, or something that happened at St. Monica to just one person over the next month.


You do NOT need another program or another item on your to-do list. A healthy, dynamic spiritual life embraces simplicity, logic, inspiration, fun, and wellness.

These suggestions are intentional, simple, practical steps that place you in a position to allow the Lord to move you along so that your spiritual life, just one month from now, might be at a more engaged level than last month.

And in this way you can worship without the doubt.


Audio version of homily is here:





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