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The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 12, 2023

Watch this homily! (Begins at 38:30)

    On the day of our baptism, a lighted candle was put into our hand (or, more likely, the hand of one of our parents or godparents) and the priest spoke these words: “Receive the light of Christ. This candle is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. You have been enlightened by Jesus Christ who is the light…Keep the flame of faith alive in your heart, and when the Lord comes, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom and live forever and ever.”

     Did you hear in that baptismal prayer an echo of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins that we just heard in today’s gospel? I did. The image of keeping the light burning brightly is a direct ‘lift’ from the parable. It seems that the hope and the prayer of the Church at the wonderful, grace-filled moment of baptism is that the life of the newly-baptized person will always burn brightly and with an intensity that will tell the world that here is a follower of Jesus Christ, here is someone who walks in the light.

     My friends, on this weekend every year we get a reminder of one aspect of what it means to walk in the light, and to be the light. It’s the weekend we ask you to think about your support of the parish. And, I know, no one really likes a ‘money talk’ at Mass. I get that. But what if you thought of this as more a message about your baptism than about money, a message about your baptism and how it calls you to live your faith in very practical ways – which includes your support of the Church. Is that too much of a stretch? I don’t think so.

     I remember a conversation I had with my counterpart and friend over at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral – the Dean, Steve Thomason - and he mentioned to me that their practice at Saint Mark’s is to talk about stewardship from the pulpit for five Sundays running. When I told him we did it on one Sunday, he was more than a little surprised. Amazed, even. Does it work? he asked me, and I assured him it does.

     And that’s the perfect lead-in to what I want to say to you this morning. I’m not going to hound you or pound the pulpit about money. Instead, I want to thank you for your generosity, your incredible generosity. Year in and year out, so many of you are steady and faithful and generous in your support of the parish. Many of you  do your giving online, others mail in your envelope each week or month, and still others of you choose to take part in the wonderful offertory procession – a moment in the Mass that always touches my heart. But in one way or another, you give. You give because you believe, you give because God has given you so much, you give because you care, you give because you want to be part of this wonderful parish and of all the things we do, especially our outreach to the poor and needy, but also our worship, our music, our faith formation, and the maintenance and upkeep of this Cathedral we all love.

     So, yes, you take your baptism seriously: your baptismal candle is still burning and your faith is burning within you, and thanks to you, the gospel is getting preached and, more importantly, the gospel is getting lived!

     My friends, that may just be the shortest homily on sacrificial giving you’ll ever get from me. I can afford to keep it short - thanks to you!

Father Michael G. Ryan





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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303