Homilies by Fr. Alan Phillip

9th Week, Saturday (A) The Power of Humility
Recent Homilies:
ߦ   9th Week, Saturday (A) The Power of Humility
ߦ   Tuesday, 9th Week (A) Listen up!
ߦ   End of Year School Mass - A Life of Greatness
ߦ   7th Week of Easter, Friday (A) Faith, with our Head, Heart and Will
ߦ   7th Week of Easter, Monday (A) How About a Partial Realization?
ߦ   6th Week of Easter, Thursday (A) The Meaning of "Hello"
ߦ   6th Sunday of Easter (A) Transformed Into What?
ߦ   4th Week of Easter, Tuesday (A) Peace? For Me?
ߦ   Friday, 4th Easter (A) What is "Life to the Full"?
ߦ   Monday, 4th Easter (A) One Flock. One Shepherd
ߦ   Friday, 3rd. Easter (A) Do What?
ߦ   Easter Season (A) This Little Light Of Mine...
ߦ   Easter Season (A) What Happened Next?
ߦ   Easter Friday (A) Why were the Apostles fearful?
ߦ   Easter Tuesday (A) What If...?
ߦ   Good Friday (A) Why Is this day called "Good?"
ߦ   Palm Sunday (A) What's Next?
ߦ   5th Sunday of Lent (A) Three Steps To Life
ߦ   Feast of the Annunciation, All About Game Changers
ߦ   4th Sunday of Lent (A) Oh, Say, Can You See?
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Lent (A) What Are You Thirsting For?
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Lent (A) Letting Go and Letting God
ߦ   1st Sunday of Lent (A) How do the children of God respond?
ߦ   Ash Wednesday, 2020 (A) A New Look at Fasting and Almsgiving
ߦ   7th Sunday (A) I Want To Be On That List
ߦ   6th Sunday (A) God's Valentine
ߦ   Fifth Sunday (A) You Light Up My Life
ߦ   Feast of the Presentation. "Father, into your hands..."
ߦ   3rd Sunday (A) We Are Wonderfully Made
ߦ   2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) The Power of Both Suffering and Fun
ߦ   Baptism of the Lord (A) Bold, Committed and Loving
ߦ   Feast of the Epiphany (A) Three New Year's Resolutions
ߦ   Feast of the Holy Family (A) Three Building Blocks to a Great Family Life
ߦ   Christmas 2019 (A) God's Gifts of Bronze, Silver and Gold
ߦ   4th Sunday of Advent (A) The Power of "Yes"
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Advent (A) The Blind See. The Deaf Hear.
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Advent (A) Five Steps to Peace
ߦ   1st Sunday of Advent (A) The Time is Now
ߦ   Feast of Christ the King (C) What an Inheritance!
ߦ   33rd Sunday (C) You have 24 Hours to Get Ready
ߦ   32nd Sunday (C) Lord, Stiffen Our Backbones
ߦ   31st Sunday (C) A Non-Miracle Miracle
ߦ   30th Sunday (C) Look Up At The Stars
ߦ   29th Sunday (C) Are Your Prayers Not Being Answered?
ߦ   28th Sunday (C) A Gratitude Attitude
ߦ   27th Sunday (C) Head, Heart And Will
ߦ   26tth Sunday (C) Reveal What To Them?
ߦ   25th Sunday (C) Getting Our $$$ Act Tegether
ߦ   24th Sunday (C) A Hug From God
ߦ   23rd Sunday (C) 100% Commitment

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     One day an ant climbs upon the back of an elephant.  The elephant is about to cross a bridge, an old bridge.   As the elephant steps on to the bridge it starts to creak and squeak, As he continue across  the bridge swings and sways,  rattles and shakes, until the elephant finally gets across safely.  Once on the other side, the ant says to the elephant.  “Wow, we really shook that bridge, didn’t we?”  The elephant just smiles.


     Have you ever thought you did something great? 


     “Hey, I just wrote a great book.  Sold a million copies.”


     “Hey, I raised a great kid.  He just graduated with a doctorate in science.”


     “Hey, I just baked a great cake.  Got a blue ribbon at the fair.”


     ‘Hey, I just preached a great sermon.  Got a standing ovation.”


     Yes, we can do great things.  But we didn’t give ourselves life, or intelligence, or talents, or health, or wisdom, or persistence.


     Who should get most of the credit?  Our Creator, of course.


     Saint Augustine once commented, “If you should ask me concerning the precepts, the laws, of the Christian faith, I should answer you, ‘Nothing but humility’.”  “Nothing but humility.”  Humility sets the foundation for our whole spiritual life.


     So if I were to conduct a retreat again, I think I would focus the first session on humility.  We would all go outside and gaze at the stars, and wonder…  Scientists tell us there are a hundred billion galaxies out there, that the universe is about 14 billion of years old.  We are so small in both size and time.   How big must be the creator, how infinite?  We need to feel that smallness.


     If we compare ourselves to a grain of sand in the vast Sahara desert, we are probably making ourselves too big.

The whole human race can be imagined as a bucket of Sahara sand, about seven and a half billion grains, nothing compared to the whole desert.


     When St. Paul tells us that Jesus humbled himself to come among us as a man, he really humbled himself.


     In Psalm 8 we read, “When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place, what are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them.” 


    Why does a big, strong parent give so much time to a tiny baby?  The only explanation is love.  Why does our infinite God concern himself with tiny little us?  The only explanation is love.  Love that is not earned, but love unconditionally given.


     Humility is truth. And the truth is that we are at one and the same time so little and so great.  


     Yes, we are like a grain of sand. But Jesus came among us here on earth and lifted up the whole human race, this whole bucket of sand, to great dignity.  Then we are baptized and made members of the body of Christ.  We can’t be more valuable than that, more valuable than the whole desert.


     Do we ever feel our prayers are not being answered?  Maybe it has something to do with humility.  We read in St. James, “God resists the proud but gives his grace to the humble.” (Cf. James 4:6)


     In today’s gospel Jesus resists the proud, the scribes, and points out the grace of generosity in the poor widow.


     Psalm 25 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalms 25:9).


     What are the words of the proud?   “Me.”  “Me.” “Me.” “ I.”  “ I.”  “I.”


     What are the words of the humble?  “Holy, Holy. Holy.”


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