George F. Riley, O.S.A.Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)
Homily by George F. Riley, O.S.A.

Hos 6:3-6
Ps 50:1, 8, 12-13, 14-15
Rom 4:18-25
Mt 9:9-13

Many of the earlier followers of Christ came to Christ because it was a moment of excitement in their lives. This carpenter from Galilee caused quite a stir throughout the region. His was a fresh face. A new voice and growing hope.

We live in an age that is geared to excitement, and that excitement seems to center around the secular world. There are incredible things, sensational and exciting things happening now that have never happened before. Space exploration, computers, medical advances, inventions that make our life easier. The discovery of new dimensions which tend to divert the human mind from thoughts of God. Who needs miracles from heaven when we are making miracles of our own? Because of this, Lord, there may be days when I'm tempted to walk out - but to whom shall I go?

In addition to excitement, there is the problem of preoccupation. The very business of keeping up with the demands of life can cause us to push the things of the spirit into a small, dusty corner. And whether we are homemakers, business people, skilled workers, or whatever, the great bulk of our time is devoted to making a living, until - for many of us - making a living becomes the total purpose of life itself. We spend so much of our time trying to improve our quality of life that we have no energy left for life at all. Because of this Lord, there may be days when I'm tempted to walk out - but to whom shall I go?

Another problem is the problem of frustration. Many people went to Christ looking for something which he never promised to give; and when they could not get it, when they did not find it, they turned away, never to follow him again. Today there are thousands of people who come to the Christian faith looking for magical solutions to their problems, their anxieties, and their sicknesses. But it doesn’t work that way. There is an aspect of comfort to be found in the gospel, but that’s not the sole function of the Good News. People who come to Christ in search of a life without cares are going to be disappointed, and they will not walk with him very long. Because of this Lord, there may be days when I'm tempted to walk out - but to whom shall I go?

Today, as he has for the last three Sundays, Christ speaks to us about giving himself to us in the Eucharist. And finally today he asks us the question: Can you accept this? Do you appreciate everything that I've told you about the Eucharist, or do you consider me as a car salesman on television...it's just too much to take seriously, or, is it easier for us to leave politely rather than to have to give an answer? What is our reason for not living up to the reality of the Eucharist? Is it the desire for excitement? The burden of preoccupation? The anguish of frustration?