Read the Homily

The Dead Potted Plant Beside a Watering Can

Experts tell us that we do not drink enough water. That is because we are not always thirsty when we are dehydrated; and when we are thirsty, after tennis or golf, we have a cold beer or a cup of coffee. That is worse. This same pattern can take place in the spiritual life. We do not always feed our souls with motivation and inspiration.

Remember when the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land? Moses gave them a very inspirational speech. He told them that no matter what they may encounter when on the other side of the Jordan, no matter what is said, or how powerful the “gods” may appear, “you stay with God. Just remember your past. The undefeated Egyptian army was out to destroy us. There were undefeated at the time. We didn’t even have a butter knife to defend ourselves and no one lost their life. We were in a desert without water and food for forty years and we are fine. Make sure you always remain faithful to God and you will be fine.”

The Israelites loved the speech. They were so inspired by his words that they said they would always be faithful to God. But take a guess what happened when they crossed over. They did the opposite; they never did anything Moses told them to do. What went wrong? They were so motivated and inspired. What happened? They never read the transcript of the speech.  They never listened to Moses’ words. They did not have a continuous diet of motivation or inspiration.

I know of a boy who started dancing at five years old. Naturally, the kids teased him in school and he was bullied. It was pretty brutal. They do not bully him anymore. He is the most sought-after dancer and choreographer in the industry. At eighteen years old he bought a Tesla and owns a two-story condo in LA. Ask my niece, who has a great job, and a husband with a great job just how hard it is to buy a condo in LA. They asked the dancer how he survive the long road to success. How did he get through the teasing and bullying, the stress of competition, setbacks, and disappointments, and the long hours of training and travel? This is what he said. He tells us that he had great mentors and teachers. He was exposed to a constant diet of inspiration, incentive, and motivation. He fed on that steady supply of support

We all love our family; we love our best friends. Yet, Jesus tells us that we have to love Him more, and here is the reason why. If we are going to love our families and our best friends, then we need to know of to do it well, we need to know how to do it right, we need to know how to love when the bank account runs dry when there are setbacks, betrayals, hardships, and fears.

The other day I saw a potted plant out on someone’s balcony. The bush was withered from top to bottom. Everyone knows that you have to water potted plants every day. They are not like plants that are in the ground where there is moisture. Potted soil dries out quickly. I am not sure if the family was on vacation, or if the neighbors forgot to water while the family was on vacation. Ironically, in front of the pot was a watering can. That is the image that I want you to have this week.  A potted plant that is dead standing beside a water can. Yet, Christ is with us always but that is not enough. We need to get the water from the can into the pot. We need to listen to instructions and be fed with inspiration and motivation on a daily basis. If a five-year-old can march down the road to success with all its obstacles and difficulties, so can we.

Back to All Homilies