Homilette for Monday, July 14, 2008

Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin

(Matthew 10:34-11:1)

Last year, a publically funded Spanish radio program broadcasted an essay by a fifteen year-old girl. The girl told how she was in a controversy with her mother because she no longer wanted to be a Catholic. She said that she would like to become a Buddhist because Buddhism is a religion of peace and contemplation. She also commented that she her mother does not practice the Catholicism she preaches. She said that her mother does not go to church but only keeps little altars to saints in the house. The essay concluded with the teen saying that she will remain a Catholic for three more years to keep peace in her house. When she becomes eighteen, however, she promised to join the religion of her choice.

Of course, the saga of the youngster should sadden us. Christianity does not have any vitality for the young girl. She is not moved by the story of Jesus whose compassion, joy, and story-telling will draw the heart of anyone who objectively hears about him. But her mother does not show her Christ by making him a priority of receiving his body and blood in the Eucharist. However, the blame probably does not rest solely with this woman. Surely others – perhaps a crabby priest or maybe sanctimonious relatives – keep the girl from interiorizing the story of Jesus.

Today’s gospel both predicts such conflicts between children and their parents and indicates how the children may be influenced to follow Jesus. When youth hear about Jesus’ love, be it through preachers or apostles or through righteous men and women, they cannot but rebel against their parents when those parents do not live the faith they profess. On the other hand, when parents practice the Christianity they preach, their children come to know Jesus in all his wonder and become grateful to their parents with all their hearts.