I’m looking back at a post from April 2006, when I discovered that sometimes my kids actually DO listen to the homily!
My children have never, EVER commented on a homily before, unless it is to remark (complain?) at the length of it.
Yesterday on the way home from church, Big Brother observed, “Father really dissed the Apostles in his homily today!” He was clearly impressed that this could be done. And I think it was good for him to notice and hear this message: those Apostles, even though they had been blessed with Jesus’ constant presence for three years, still managed to mess up! They fell asleep, denied Him, abandoned Him during the crucifixion, and locked themselves in someone’s second floor room, only to disbelieve the first few people (Mary Magdalene and the other women) who saw Jesus resurrected. And Jesus let them have it. But then he still let them lead His Church.
I remember that day, and I remember which priest gave that homily. He always made no bones about Peter’s tendency to speak loudly and think later, and about James and John, the “Sons of Thunder” and their overbearing mother with her entitlement complex.
More and more, I find it comforting that the Apostles weren’t perfect. We tend to think that they (and the saints) were. But if we let go of that idea, and consider that they all found ways to mess things up, it can be a great comfort to us when we don’t get it right.
We’re not perfect. Neither were the saints. Neither were the Apostles. But Jesus picked them anyway. It’s good for us to realize it–and it’s good for kids to hear Father “dissing” the Apostles. Because in the end, God made it all work out.