Worth Searching For

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time | September 15, 2019

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found here: Salesian Sermons

Every morning as I get dressed, I look at the top of my dresser and gaze upon my high school class ring.

    It’s funny.

    I haven’t worn the ring in years and there is a decent coat of dust on it at this point.

But every time I see it, I cannot help but think of the day I almost lost it.

It was a few months into my freshman year of college and the first snowfall of the year had descended on campus.

    I was walking to dinner with a few friends when a friendly snowball fight erupted.

    Now, we all know my track record with anything athletic, so I should have known a        snowball fight was not going to end in my favor.

        But I had a perfect, direct angle to hit my friend square in the back.  

    So I wind up, throw and miss him by several feet.

        But as the snowball leaves my hand, I feel something else go flying off.

Yup, the ring that was always two sizes too big because even my fingers are awkwardly thin. It goes flying into the white abyss.

I stood there, utterly horrified.

And then I began frantically digging in the snow searching for it.

The snowball fight came to a quick end as my friends began asking what I was doing.

    My ring, I said, still frantically tearing through the snow.

Now it was getting dark.  It was cold. And dinner beckoned.

    But none of my friends left.

Cell phone lights flicked on. People fanned out on hands and knees, letting the cold and wet seep into their clothing. One of my friends began running in and out of the building carrying buckets of hot water, intent to melt the entire snowbank if need be.

After 30 minutes, I finally gave up hope.  I began to rally my friends around me to tell them I was calling off the search.

    But in doing so, I slipped on a patch of ice and landed on my face in a pile of snow.  

        Groggy from the fall, I opened my eyes and realized that I was staring at my ring.

I couldn’t believe it.  

I remember yelling and then suddenly everyone is around me and we are cheering and laughing and hugging.

Over a ring.

This insignificant piece of metal that meant nothing to them.

But in their searching, in their celebration, I came to realize that I meant something to them.

My friends, this is the lesson of the Gospel from today.  And it is the true lesson of a class ring.

An individual sheep. An individual coin.

    Both are relatively insignificant in the grand scope of things.

But the shepherd who cared for those sheep. The woman whose coins they were.

They are significant.  They do matter.

    And therefore, their triumphs become shared triumphs.  Their joys shared joys.

And so in turn is it true for you.

This ring you receive is relatively insignificant in the grand scope of things.

But you, the ones who wear it. You are the ones who matter.

We do not come today to celebrate bands of metal. We come to celebrate you.

To name the truth that your work matters. Your successes and failures matter. Your celebrations and your sorrows and your mistakes matter. Your relationships, your history, your future. All of it matters.

And that is why we too will go out looking for your lost sheep or scour the house looking for your lost coins. Because you gentlemen are worth searching for.

So as you receive these rings, may they simply remind you of the promise that is extended to each of you.

That here at the House of Sales, each of you matters.  Today, tomorrow, and forever.

May God be Praised.

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