Father Mel Byrne in Medjugorje – August 7, 2010
All during this week for the youth I have heard talk after talk after talk. And you know what? I have had enough of talk! I’m really up to here with talk. The greatest speech that was ever written, that ever occurred, and you have heard it all before, you know it very well. In fact, you may know it so well that it doesn’t impress you any more. Because, for me, good things very often don’t impress me at all. (The Gospel Reading today was about the Annunciation.)
Have you taken any particular notice of the Mass this morning, and I would guess the day before that and the day before that and the Sunday before that and last year? You have been to Mass many times, haven’t you? This is almost routine, is it not? What would change it from becoming routine into something very special? Do I need to bounce off the floor? Does Jesus need to come down off His Cross? Does Our Lady need to appear to us in this church?
I have been in this holy place well over six times. Friends of mine have been here 20, 30 and 40 times. How often have you been here? How many more times do I have to come? How many times do you have to come to be able to say, as this Woman of Nazareth, “Be it done unto me completely, according to your Word”? How many more times must I stand here in this holy place to be able to say with complete surrender, “Lord be it done unto me according to your Word. Lord, take everything from me”?
So, you have been here 20 times, 30 times. Why aren’t you totally converted? Why aren’t I totally surrendered to God? How many more times must I come before I say, “Yes Lord, Totus Tuus”? What would happen if this were my last visit to Medjugorje? No more chances, the time has come to make a decision.
At the post office the other day, a woman discovered that I was a priest. She said that I did not look like a priest. I was wearing my summer shorts, sandals and white shirt, and maybe I didn’t look like a priest. I asked her what does a priest look like. She explained that he would wear a black shirt with a white collar and black pants. I told her that I know many priests who do not wear black clericals. I again asked, “What really is a priest supposed to look like?” She interrupted me, and then responded, “Priests are supposed to be holy.”
People, don’t be afraid to surrender to the Holy Spirit. Tell me, and this is the real question, would you like to be holy? Really, really holy? I say, ‘ Yes Lord.’ I want the full course on holiness. There are no tips on holiness. You can’t find it on the shelves in the store, or buy a kit that will make you holy. Then, who makes us holy? The Spirit makes us holy.
I hold bread at Mass. This bread from the fields, this wheat mixed with water. I say, ‘This is My Body,’ and this piece of bread becomes God’s Body because of the power of the Spirit. That Spirit says to you in Confession ‘I absolve you from all your sins.’ Not just 1, 2,3,4,5,6,10, but all your sins. Out of the Spirit I absolve you from all your sins. How many more times do you have to go to Confession to be holy, to Mass to be really holy? How many Communions do I have to receive before I am able to say, ‘Be it done unto me totally’? Do you want to be holy? Do you really want to become holy? All you have to do is to become like bread, totally submissive to the Spirit at work. Say to the Spirit, ‘Make me holy as your Mother is holy, Lord God. Allow me, move me, melt me, mould me, and carve me into the Image of Your Son.’
Wherever I go, wherever I speak, whatever line I walk, let Your Words and Your Presence be transparent in me to be holy. That is why we are here, to become holy people. God uses holy people for His Work.