Homily – 28th Sunday in [Extra] Ordinary Time in a Pandemic

Dear Friends, we keep, “keeping on” in this time of pandemic when we can’t be together, but we trust in the support of each other, of love shared across the miles. We must keep our eyes on Jesus in all our frustrations and joys and commit to living our baptisms, our confirmations as he would, in his footsteps. My greatest wish for each of you is that you would have peace, love and joy in your lives. I am grateful for each one of you and for all that you do in our community and our greater world. Later, I will be sharing the minutes and the financial statement from our board meeting earlier this week completing the third quarter of our church year. In those statements you will see the generosity of this community which allows us every quarter to share our surplus with others in need and this quarter, it was substantial!

May each of you stay safe and well during these trying times. Please, never hesitate to be in contact if I can help in any way. By phone, 507-429-3616 or by email, aaorcc2008@gmail.com. Gratefully, Pastor Kathy


Entrance Antiphon

O good and forgiving God, through you my life is at peace; I give you thanks for your goodness and willingness in calling and inviting me to your eternal banquet.

Let Us Pray

O God, our help and guide, make your love the foundation of our lives. May our love for you express itself in our eagerness to do good for others. Grant this through Jesus, your first-born and our brother who lives and loves you along with the Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.



  • Isaiah 25: 6-10
  • Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20
  • Matthew 22: 1-14


My friends, in this fall-time of 2020 in the Midwest that has been graced, of late, with such beautiful weather as the earth is preparing to go dormant—all too soon; we are met with a God who wants us to know that we, each-one-of-us, is welcome at the table!  Something, really, that we shouldn’t take lightly, as our whole mission at All Are One is about this very idea!

   This fall-time of 2020 also finds us living through such turbulent times in our country as we battle a virus that we can’t as a nation, seem to get our arms around and apparently, this is so because of lack of leadership at the highest level to address the seriousness of this threat. 

   Our country has also been called this year, to face the truth, in the death of one more black man in May, of the inherent racism that underpins all that we are as a nation.  This death in May seemed to finally be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” after 400 years of slavery and its affects upon our black sisters and brothers in our country.

   Apparently, the perfect storm of the coronavirus and its overwhelming toll on the poor, on people of color, along with the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer while three other policemen, one of them—non-white, looking on, was enough for blacks and whites alike to finally, finally—demand change. Our Scriptures today, in two of the selected readings, one from the prophet, Isaiah, and the other from our brother, Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, say, in no uncertain terms, that we are all called to the table, each, and every one of us, and it is up to each of us, to rise to the occasion, if we can, if we desire, in fact, to do so! 

   First of all, the afore-mentioned Scriptures, starting with Isaiah, show us a God not often enough uplifted in the run-of-the-mill Catholic churches.  Isaiah’s God is “preparing a place, for all of us” and if our God can, “include all of us”—each one of us, why would we not see it as our duty, our call in fact, to do the same? 

   In the last four years; I have often wondered why so many Evangelical “Christians” and Catholics would support a man who in so many of his actions has advocated against immigrants in general, Muslims, and women.  The rhetoric and the writing and the excuse, even though some of these so-called Christians, said they, “had to hold their noses and vote,” was that he apparently would end, Roe v. Wade.  Somehow, for me, this is unconscionable, because life is life—all across the continuum.  If one is “pro-life,” that means you are for life in every instance!

   Apparently, I was not the only one who thought this way, because of late; I have been reading articles and book reviews tying these so-called “Christian” voters to the underpinnings of racism and misogyny and not just the issue of abortion as originally thought, thus the connection to the current president.  This is, of course, a whole other discussion for another time, but probably sufficed to say, history has proven through the concept of Manifest Destiny in American expansionism that the idea of white supremacy was driving this, coupled with the history of slavery prior to that and the patriarchal stance within our country supported by most churches, that the ideas of racism and misogyny are underlying reasons for so-called “Christians” and Catholics to vote as they did in 2016.  A new book, recently reviewed and critiqued by the National Catholic Reporter, The Sin of White Supremacy: Christianity, Racism and Religious Diversity in America, by Jeannine Hill Fletcher, documents all of the above and more.  But, as I said earlier, this is another homily.  

   Looking back to today’s readings then, I believe we all can find a way forward.  Continuing on a note I began earlier, that of seeing our God as one who truly cares about all of us—each one of us, in fact; we hear the prophet Isaiah say, “Our God will wipe away all tears…take away all shame,” to say nothing of feeding us with the best food and wine at the banquet being prepared for us.  As I have said in the past, this is a far cry from the God we created in our own image who, for some, is authoritarian, distant and cold, just waiting to punish us for some misstep. 

   Our God’s goodness toward each of us is further displayed in the Church’s choice of the 23rd psalm, as a response to Isaiah’s words, to which we might sing Marty Haugen’s beautiful refrain, “Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.” 

   Paul, as he persists in prison, one of many times in his life of ministry, speaks to the Philippians and us with assurance that whether he lives in “poverty or plenty,” it doesn’t really matter because he knows the “strength” he has in Jesus, the Christ and basically, keeps on, keeping on!

   Paul’s example, in the times in which we live, is so very important to keep front and center, as we navigate our lives, which some days seem without hope of better times to come.  We must keep holding on, doing our part, striving to be our best amidst so many conflicting messages. All of us, I believe, look for leadership from without, but these present times are wanting for that and so we must turn within and find the “strength” of Jesus that Paul speaks of.

   Today’s gospel from Matthew gives us the familiar parable of the wedding feast and the desire of the ruler that his house would be filled to share the joy of his heir’s wedding. From the start, we have to refrain from the temptation to read the story literally, or we will miss its true meaning.

   The image of a wedding feast is a familiar one that Jesus uses to tell us of the joy—of all the good that has been prepared for us once we come to understand that as our God invites each of us; we must in turn open our lives and hearts to others—some would say, “this is heaven”—not so much a place as an attitude.

   Recently, I was reading some of the writings of Father Richard Rohr and he spoke of the notion of, “experiencing heaven on earth,” which he said, we can do, if we have such an attitude—he mentioned those who did, Francis of Assisi, Therese of Liseiux, Harriet Tubman and others. 

   Today’s gospel gives us the image of the “wedding garment” and its importance that each of us “acquires” such a garment and again; we must get beyond the literal meaning.  The “cloth” of this garment is basically the “attitudes” we develop throughout our lives toward all of creation, toward all of life, that we then “clothe” ourselves in.

   So our “wedding garment” should be made up of the virtues of mercy, justice, long-suffering and patience, to name some, and all together, they “create,”  “love for our world” in its entirety.

   COVID 19 has reminded us all that we are in life together—that in order to conquer this virus; we must be of one mind.  I believe the hopelessness comes when we witness a singlemindedness that sees only what is important to one, instead of—to all. 

   Today’s parable reminds us to, “check our own houses,” who we are—in fact, not just for ourselves, but for others.  We do want to “rise to the occasion,” unlike the guest in today’s gospel. 

   So, my friends, there is much to consider today, which basically comes down to, as we say so often—“being our best selves.” I have been acquiring some good quotes of late of ways to be, “our best selves” and I will conclude with those today for our reflection:

  • We cannot close our eyes to any form of racism or exclusion, while pretending to defend the sacredness of every human life.—Pope Francis
  • Let us not seek the Republican or Democratic answer—but the right answer.  Let us not try to fix the blame for the past.  Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.—John F. Kennedy
  • Fight for what you believe in, but do it in a way that others will follow you.—Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • Everything is supernatural for those who know how to see.—Paul Tillich, Protestant theologian
  • There are a 1,000 ways to kneel and kiss the ground.—Rumi, 13th Century Persian poet, Sufi mystic and theologian
  • Additionally, from Rumi, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
  • If we had been holier people, we would have been angrier, oftener.—John Templeton, investor—who believed in a higher purpose beyond profit for profits’ sake
  • And finally, from Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine speaker and writer, “Do you want a test to know if your work in life is over, the philosopher asked?  If you are still alive, it is not!”  Sister Joan continues—as the rabbi and the disciple both well know, God needs us to complete God’s work. Now! Amen? Amen!


Prayers of the Faithful

Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

  1. Help us O God, to strive to live justly in your world and with your people,  we pray—

       Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

  • For each of us here and for our entire Church, help us to be the change we want to see in our Church and world , we pray—

       Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

  • For all who are suffering here today or in our wider community,  in body, mind or spirit and especially for those afflicted with COVID 19, we pray—

       Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

  • For those who continue to suffer from storms, flooding and fires, we pray—Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”
  • For our world and its people, that peace would reign in our hearts and that we would do all in our power to bring peace to our world, remembering that peace begins first and foremost, within each one of us, we pray—Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”
  • May the wisdom and grace of the Spirit overshadow all elected officials and those who ask for the privilege of elected office, so that they will truly work to care for the least among us and strive to bring peace to our world, we pray—Response:   “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

7.  For our community, All Are One, continue to send your Spirit upon us, especially during these months of separation, to enable us to be an inclusive community, open and welcoming all, we pray—Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

  • Loving Jesus, be with all families who have lost loved ones this week, from COVID 19 and all other causes—give them your peace, that they may find their way through their grief, we pray— Response:  “Good and generous God, hear our prayer.”

***Let us pray for the spoken and silent petitions on our hearts—pause, then response

Let Us Pray

Good and gentle God, our source of all strength and wisdom.  We ask that you would give us peace—filled and loving hearts—help us to be merciful to all and accepting of all in our lives and in our wider world. Help us to be the change we want to see in our world, realizing that all and any change begins with my change of heart. We ask all of this of you, our good and loving God, who is Creator, Savior and Spirit, one God, living and loving us, forever and ever.  Amen.


Let Us Pray—Again, we are without the physical Eucharist, but we remember that Jesus is always with us—always! 

Prayer after Communion

Dear Jesus, we are grateful that you enable us to share your love with all that we meet. We ask that this may always be the case—you are our Creator, Savior and Spirit, One God, living and loving us forever and ever. Amen.