About Me

Bilingual Roman Catholic priest of the Southern Dominican Province. The "homilettes" on this website are completely the work of Fr. Mele. He may be contacted at cmeleop@yahoo.com. Telephone: (415) 279-9234.

Homilette for Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

(I Corinthians 9:16-19; 22b-27)

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

(I Corinthians 9:16-19; 22b-27)

Last month the eyes of the world were riveted on Michael Phelps. The American swimmer was attempting to win an unprecedented eight gold medals in one Olympic season. Few people considered Phelps’ competitors – how they might enjoy receiving Olympic gold. No, they were hoping to see a champion of champions emerge in those games.

In the reading from the first letter to the Corinthians today Paul challenges us to compete like Michael Phelps. But, he implies, the prize that we aim at is not lustrous gold which often carries with it soul-destroying pride. Quite the contrary, the award we seek is invisible to the eye but edifying of the soul. We work for everlasting life with God and achieve it by dedicating ourselves to Him.

Make no mistake about it; our quest for sanctity is as daunting as Michael Phelps’ pursuit of gold medals. We must discipline our bodies to overcome the desires of the flesh and our minds to keep focused on our heavenly prize. As Phelps spent multiple hours daily at swimming practice, we must pray for God’s assistance and take advantage of opportunities to do good. The difference between Phelps’ shooting for Olympic gold and our seeking everlasting life is that in our case no extraordinary natural disposition is necessary to gain the goal we seek. Every one of us can become a saint with God’s grace.