“But for the Grace of God” – a homily by Fr. Frank B. Lenz

But for the Grace of God

This homily, said by Fr. Frank Lenz, touched me in many ways; first, because my brothers and sister no longer attend Mass, and second, because I had lived a life unbecoming of a Christian while I still professed to be one, therefore, setting a poor example of Catholic Christianity. I trust in the grace of God’s forgiveness, for I did not know what I was doing to Him and His Church.

This is a homily Fr. Frank B. Lenz said at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Victoria, Texas, July 13, 2017, while he was saying Masses for Fr. Albert Yankey who was on vacation.

“Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time

“(GN 41:55-57; 42:5-7A, 17-24 A; PS 33:2-3, 10-11, `8-19; and MT 10:1-7)

“Jesus did not send his apostles to convert people who were not Jews. He did not send them to inspire Jews who already loved God. “Go instead,” he told them, “after the lost sheep of Israel.” Jesus sent his twelve apostles off on a mission to bring back to the faith any Jews who might have fallen away.

“I think that sometimes WE concentrate too much time on converting people outside the Catholic Church. If all of us in the Church were the Catholics that Christ asks us to be, maybe we would influence others to the faith just by the way we live our lives.

“Unfortunately there are many Catholics who no longer go to church; some statistics say only 25 percent attend Mass. There are many Catholics who no longer practice their faith – we call them ‘fallen-away Catholics’.

“No matter how hard we try, we all most likely do things and give example that is not exactly in accordance with Christian ways. So the first conversion job for us is with ourselves; and next would come the reconversion of fallen away Catholics. Those outside the Church will be deeply influenced only if we are living Christ-like lives. If they could see the goodness of God in our daily lives, many might be drawn to him without too much other urging.

“In our Gospel today Jesus sends his twelve apostles out on a practice mission – to their own fellow Jews. He told them, ‘Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: The reign of God is at hand!’

“Jesus knew what he was doing. Not only is charity to begin at home, so is our mission. The outside world will fall down and adore God only after God’s own people begin showing Him the respect He is due.”