Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time | July 11/12, 2015
This homily was written for a Mass celebrated during the summer program at Nativity Prep, a Catholic middle school for boys in Wilmington, DE. The primary audience was composed of 7th- and 8th-grade boys (Fr. Brian’s students).
PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the second and Gospel readings.
One of the hardest things about working at Nativity Prep is how much you all look up to me.
As David has often reminded me, you are the “holy man.” The one who supposedly has it all together.
And yet, I rarely feel that way.
In fact, I usually feel the exact opposite. That I am not good enough.
I am not a good enough administrator or teacher.
I am not a good enough priest or person.
I find myself going . . .
If only I was more patient.
If only I was truly bilingual.
If only I was more organized.
If only I was more understanding.
If only I had more time.
I find myself going, if only I work harder, I can be good enough. And so I put in the late nights and the early mornings.
But it never works.
Now, I believe that I am not alone in this feeling. In fact, I would bet that each person in this room from time to time feels that they are not good enough.
Maybe you feel that you are not smart enough. If only you were like your peer who gets straight As, then you would be good enough.
Maybe you feel that you are not athletic enough. If only you were like your peer who starts on the basketball team, then you would be good enough.
Maybe you feel that you are not cool enough. If only you changed who you were, then maybe you would be good enough.
You question if you are a good person. You question if you will ever change.
And let’s be honest. This struggle isn’t just for you middle school students. Every adult in this room grapples with this same struggle.
Questioning whether they will be good enough for college. Whether they will be good enough for graduate school. Whether they are good enough for their jobs. Whether they are good enough spouses and friends, roommates and mentors.
It seems that at the end of the day, we all struggle with believing that we are good enough.
Which is why the Gospel for today is so interesting.
For Jesus does not ask for the disciples to bring anything. He tells them to come as they are and then sends them out into the world that way.
He chooses them first and then prepares them for their mission. He does not necessarily call the equipped, but he certainly equips the called.
And in teaching his disciples, Jesus also teaches each of us.
That each of us is chosen right now, as we are.
Not as we want to be.
Not as we believe we should be.
Not as others perceive us to be or want us to be.
But as we are.
That each of us is reminded by God that we are enough.
That each of us will be given everything we need to accomplish our life’s work in this world.
Whether it is healing or teaching.
Inspiring or reconciling
Becoming a better person or building a better world.
This is the promise that each of us has been given.
The promise that leaves us with a choice.
We can either trust in this promise or not.
We can either believe that we are enough or we can continue to doubt that we will ever be good enough.
The choice is ours my friends.
Let us declare as one that we are enough.
May God be Praised.