Homily for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 8, 2012, Mt. 9:27-25 & Rom. 15:1-7

Do you remember the Beatle’s song from 1967?

♬ Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends; Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends. ♬

Well, the paralytic in today’s Gospel got by with a little help from his friends who brought him to Jesus. They were high on their faith and Jesus praised that faith.

So many people today suffer from a spiritual paralysis that only Jesus can heal. He can do that through us who bring people to him; who give a little help to their friends.

In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans he affirms that we all have gifts to use to help our friends – to help our parish and our church.

What are the gifts that you have to bring people to Jesus? St. Paul mentions prophecy – that’s the gift of teaching.

He includes ministry of service. In what ways can you serve your parish, your Catholic Church, your neighbors?

Generous giving of alms is another of the gifts a person may have. Your generosity to the food collection and to the quarterly church envelope for the poor helps the hungry in our communities, helps the children for whom we sent part of the last collection and helps the homeless with our frequently sending the collection to St. Joseph Homeless Shelter.

Works of mercy performed cheerfully are another of the gifts that St. Paul lists in order to be a little help to our friends. What are the works of mercy? The classic works of mercy include the works St. Paul has already listed. They are:

Corporal works of mercy
    To feed the hungry;
    To give drink to the thirsty;
    To clothe the naked;
    To shelter the homeless
    To visit the sick;
    To ransom the captive;
    To bury the dead.

Spiritual works of mercy
    To instruct the ignorant;
    To counsel the doubtful;
    To admonish sinners;
    To bear wrongs patiently;
    To forgive offences willingly;
    To comfort the afflicted;
    To pray for the living and the dead.

The people for whom we carry out these corporal and spiritual works of mercy are gonna try with a little help from their friends.

The song asks “Do you need anybody? I need somebody to love.

We need one another and we need to let our love for others shine forth in our actions.  Our faith expressed by our love for others is the way to bring people to Jesus so that he can heal their spiritual paralysis.

♬ They’ll get by with a little help from us as their friends ♬

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