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A Worthwhile Homily


My brother John.  This picture was taken at my 50th Anniversary celebration at Our Lady of Snows Parish.

My brother John. This picture was taken at my 50th Anniversary celebration at Our Lady of Snows Parish.

Some 34 years ago, my brother and I attended a Sunday morning Mass in St. Mary of the Angels Church in the Notting Hill district of London England.  On this morning, my friend, Father Michael Hollings, the Pastor, celebrated the Mass and gave a never-to-be-forgotten homily.

  Through the years, this homily has stuck in my mind and touched my life deeply.  In his talk, Father Hollings mentioned the different individuals one might meet in this tough district which made up his parish.  As he mentioned various examples, he exclaimed with much feeling, “Christ loves him!” or “Christ loves her!”, as the case would be.

“That drunk lying in the gutter, Christ loves him!”  “The street walker making money to feed her children, Christ loves her!”  “The beggar, in rags, looking for a few pence from passersby, Christ loves him!”  Father Hollings went on to mention six or seven other types of people, low in the social scale, and generally the object of much derision from others.  Knowing his devotion to the down and outer, I could believe him when he cried out each time, “Christ loves him!”

I remember one time, about 10 years later, while in a McDonald’s in a small town in Michigan, I was thinking of Father Hollings homily.  A man, about 45 years old, came in with a knapsack on his back, talking out loud to everybody and nobody.  No one paid attention to him as, with a big smile on his face, he told of his adventures with his bicycle.  The thought came to me of that long ago homily.  “Christ loves him!”  Because of that memory, I honestly wanted to show him courtesy and friendship by listening to his story.

Later that same night, in the motel, I told my brother of my experience at McDonalds’s.  His face lit up with the recalling of the words we both heard together a decade earlier, “Christ loves him!”

As people of all dispositions and states in life cross our paths, we could do nothing better than to think, “Christ loves him!”, “Christ loves her!”  How uplifting a thought to think that Jesus of Nazareth cares for each one of us as His dear possession, regardless of our good fortune or poor fortune in life.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 12, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Happy Birthday Father McKenna!! I hope you are well and enjoying a nice day.

    Comment by Beth Doyle | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  2. Happy 95th Birthday, Fr McKenna! Thank you for this wonderful message. What a difference this would make in my life. Am going to try to think this way.
    P.S. You share your July 12 birthday with Julius Caesar, Henry David Thoreau, and Buckminster Fuller.
    Steve Molidor

    Comment by Steve Molidor | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  3. Happy Birthday, Fr. George!! I thought of you as soon as I woke up! I love you and love that we can still ‘hear’ from you via your wonderful blog! God Bless you on your 95th birthday and beyond! Thank you for sharing another wonderful story – I see plenty of people on the lower rungs of society’s ladder when I walk up to work – sometimes they are scary to me (yelling and looking crazy) but I will now look at them the way your friend, Fr. Hollings did. As usual, your blog speaks volumes to me and it is so easy to put your writings to practical, every day use. Looks like a lot of rain for your area today – we have another beautiful sunny and warm day – our summers are so pretty here – makes it worth the other 9 months of clouds and rain. I will call you this weekend! Love you! Love, Nancy PS – That is a sweet picture of your brother!

    Comment by nancywest22 | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  4. Happy Birthday Fr. George from Nancy’s sister Linda! I hope you are feeling good and staying dry from all this rain we are having today. I always enjoyed coming with Nancy to visit you. I am going to visit Nancy and Tim soon. It’s been many years since I went to their home, so I know I will enjoy my visit there. Take care and enjoy your special day……… Linda

    Comment by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  5. Happy Birthday Father McKenna! I am a friend of Nancy’s. I am so glad she introduced me to your blog and books. Your words of inspiration have been very meaningful to me. Thank you so much. Mary Ann

    Comment by Mary Ann Adamson | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  6. Fr. McKenna may you be richly blest each day of your life and thank you for blessing me with your words. Pam Gervais

    Comment by Pam Gervais | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  7. Happy birthday Fr. George…. What a wonderful life you have lived so far…you will never know how many lives you have touched….You certainly have touched ours and our affection for you is limitless…one thing for sure—Christ Loves you also.
    Many more happy birthdays

    Comment by Arlene & Steve Culen | July 12, 2014 | Reply

  8. Happy birthday, 95 years of inspiration to all, loved the passage, and when I come across someone whom may appear annoying I’m going to remember Christ love him!! and I think he especially loves you, as he has used you as a vehicle for his word. Thank you, D. Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 | Reply


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