Have you ever heard a homily that stopped you in your tracks? One that stuck with you, swirling around in your head and making you think? For the listeners of the Holy Mass from St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, broadcast live on Relevant Radio® at 9am CT last Sunday, it was one of those homilies.
The Most Rev. David Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin and member of the Relevant Radio Board of Directors, delivered what can only be described as an epic sermon. Over the course of nearly nineteen minutes, Bishop Ricken laid it all on the table—racism, abortion, the sexual abuse crisis, immigration, the pandemic. He passionately and fearlessly addressed the things that need to be said, even if the culture doesn’t want to hear them.
We need to stop hiding from the truth. We must acknowledge our sins to find healing and repentance, said Bishop Ricken. “We’re too nice here. Don’t upset the apple cart; leave things alone. How’s that working for you?” he remarked.
Here are a few highlights from his homily. These quotes are just a small part of a much larger discussion; for full context, listen to the audio below.
“You know what is the key to healing? You’ve got to forgive the person that assailed you, that hurt you. If you don’t, you’re going to be a slave to anger and hostility for your whole life,” said Bishop Ricken. He urged the faithful to stop letting pent-up anger and resentment ruin their lives and to pray for the grace to forgive and finally find healing.
“Racism and how we treat immigrants who are already here, that’s got to be healed! We were moving toward that and then the whole thing got hijacked. … We were just about to have some healing conversations with people of color and then the whole thing got hijacked—anti-police, anti-authority, anti-church, tear down statues, tear down saints, destruction,” he said.
He spoke about the work of Satan in causing division, violence, and lies to flourish. The way to overcome this is by following the Lord’s playbook: loving people, building them up, protecting life and property, and telling the truth.
On abortion and the sexual revolution:
“Sixty-five million abortions since 1973. How can we expect God’s blessings when we do away with our own children?” he asked.
“Marriage is thrown aside, we change the definition of marriage, what do we have from that? Gender struggles, identity struggles, and I just have the question: how’s it working for you? Not very good. Lots of confusion!”
Don’t wimp out:
Bishop Ricken challenged the future generations to stand up for the truth, for love, and for Christ. “We need a lot more strong people. Young people, I’m putting the challenge to you! Don’t wimp out! This is your opportunity; this is your war. Stand up and start being counted for Christ and for the truth and for God and the Ten Commandments because we’re counting on you. I’m getting old; I need to pass this on to somebody else. And the Church needs to thrive and flourish by telling the truth.”
Can I get an AMEN?
Listen to the full sermon:
Image of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral from Wikimedia Commons