Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 120 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

How Bad Is It?

There is a classic scene in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in which King Arthur encounters “The Black Knight.” King Arthur duels with the Black Knight and cuts off his arm, and then his other arm, and then both legs, all the while the Black Knight is minimizing the extent of the damage and continuing to taunt King Arthur. The scene is comical precisely because the Black Knight refuses to admit how bad things really are. While this scene is fictional and funny, the tragic truth is that we see something similar in our own lives.

Think of all the ways in which we are wounded, particularly by sin. We have mortal wounds clinging to our souls. Yet, how often are we like the Black Knight, pretending that things really aren’t all that bad? We’re like the sheep that wanders away from the flock and then, even when the shepherd comes to rescue us, we refuse to go.

The prodigal son in the gospel is our great example. Unlike the Black Knight, the son realizes just how bad things are. He knows that he has sinned, that he is far away from home and that he needs help. This is the most important moment in his life. It is in this moment that he begins to head back home. When he nears his father’s house, the son encounters his father running out to meet him with great joy. This same welcome awaits all of us when we turn back to our Father. So let’s admit today that everything is not “OK.” Let’s get to confession and find our loving Father welcoming us home to the banquet, the banquet of the Eucharist.

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