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Prostitutes, Prisoners, and Arsonists (#443, 26th Sunday)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Ordinary Time, 26th Sunday. We all need a savior. Tax collectors and prostitutes entered the Kingdom of God when they admitted it. The chief priests and elders did not admit they needed a savior and did not enter the Kingdom of God. Maria Simma tells the story of a priest who talked about God’s mercy and a prostitute who received it. As Christians we profess belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus. How many of us have said, “Yes” to God’s call but were still just sitting there in the pews, not actually doing the will of God?

This past Saturday I was in prison. Vince, the young man who lit St. Anthony on fire, had asked me to be his sponsor when he entered the Catholic Church. He is part of an amazing little group of Christians in the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility. Tax collectors, prostitutes, prisoners and arsonists are entering the Kingdom of God before us, because they said “No” and then they did what God asked. We have said “Yes” but are  we doing what God has asked us to do?

(28 Sep 2014)

Points to Ponder

Vincent is half-way through a five year sentence, followed but 10 years of parole. Pray for him and for all those serving time in jail or prison.

Have you ever thought about personally helping with jail or prison ministry, perhaps Dismas Ministry?

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. What is causing this? What can we do about it?