Sunday, February 16, 2014

Children's Sermon on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, 2014

This morning St. Paul says that all things are permitted for me, but not all things are beneficial to me, and I'd like to think about that for a little bit, because it's an interesting thing to think about, an interesting thing for him to say. What does that mean? He gives an example: food was meant for the body, for the stomach, the stomach for food, but he will not be in debt to anything. So what he's saying is, and the reason that the Church puts this before us, a couple of weeks before starting the Great Lent, is that food is good, but food should not be merely enjoyable; food should not be the most important thing in our life. It should be there to sustain us, and there are more important things in our life than food. The fast of Great Lent reminds us of that, because it asks us not to so much focus on food (although sometimes we think so much about what we're going to eat when we fast that we focus on that a little bit too much), but to use the time and when we eat different things, maybe we eat a little less, feel hungry sometimes, to think about God, to remember God at all times.

So things are good, but there is a time for everything. Not everything is good all the time. One thing that I've been thinking of is, for example, I'm sure we all like to spend time playing something, whether it's a game or a sport or something, maybe a game outside, maybe a game on the computer. It's not a bad thing to do, but there is a time for it, and we should be able to think that if we have something else that we need to do, for example, have work to do around the house or homework, it's not the time yet. It is a good thing, but right now it is not beneficial to us, because then it's going to be late at night, we're going to be tired, and we're still going to have to do all the homework that we hadn't done earlier. So there are good things, but there are times in which those good things need to be done, need to be partaken of. As St. Paul said: food is good, but we're going to set it aside for a while.

For quite a few of you down here, you can start doing a little something. Maybe, who knows, maybe on Fridays during Lent you're not going to eat meat, if you haven't done anything before. Just begin with something little, because fasting is also something we grow into, and then we remember when it comes to Friday and we look at what we're going to eat. Maybe we'll forget, and somebody will ask, "Can I have a hot dog?" and maybe our parents will say, "Well, no, remember we're starting to fast a little bit, so today we're not going to have a hot dog," and you're going to think, "Oh, we're fasting." Why are we fasting? So we can remember God. Hot dogs are great, but today is not the time for it. Today is the time to remember God a little bit, and that will help us remember.

As we do things in our lives, whether it is with food, whether it is time for play, whether it is time to sleep, whatever it may be, we need to think, "Is this the right time for it, or do I have something else that needs to be done that would be better?" because all things are good, but they are good in their proper place at their right time. With the help of parents and the help of our teachers, in certain cases, of course, with the help of the Church, we can figure out what that good time is for all these good things that God has given. And you know what? If we keep everything in its right place, in its proper place, if we use everything that is good, when it is good, you know what we're doing then, yes? We give glory to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



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