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By Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV, Catholic Exchange, December 4, 2019
Fr. Nnamdi Moneme OMV is a Roman Catholic Priest of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary currently on missionary assignment in the Philippines. He serves in the Congregations’ Retreat Ministry and in the House of Formation for novices and theologians in Antipolo, Philippines. He blogs at www.toquenchhisthirst.wordpress.com.
I was both sad and surprised to hear from a parish priest that one of his female parishioners threatened to leave the Catholic Church because of what she described as a homophobic homily that I had preached some weeks earlier during Sunday Mass. What did I say in the homily that infuriated her so much? I had simply reminded the congregation that we Christians are first called in our sinful world today to radical conversion, closeness with Christ, and to pray and sacrifice for the conversion of other sinners. It so happened that the example that I had used to illustrate the need for our prayer and sacrifices was the Gay Pride parades.
Three things about this parishioner and her threat to leave the Church because of my homily calling for conversion and prayers. First, she obviously came to Mass to worship God. Second, she wanted to worship God but she did not want to be instructed. Third, she left the Mass not with peace but with anger at challenging words of hopeful truth.
We too forfeit divine peace when we try to worship God without that docility that makes us ready and willing to be instructed, trained, formed, and led by God. Our worship of God, if it is authentic, is always accompanied by divine instruction, God summoning us to abandon our old selfish ways and to embrace lives more appropriate for life with Him. When we are docile enough to listen, learn, and respond to divine instructions, we become people of peace who radiate that peace to others. ….