Trump’s Not Coming to Your Birthday Party (and neither is Biden) | 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020

Homily from the Cathedral of Saint Raymond, Joliet

Readings: Exodus 22:20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 22:34-40

“Christ in the House of Simon the Pharisee” by Phillippe de Champaigne

Listen here:


  • Jesus beats the Pharisees, Sadducees, and (last week) the Herodians at their own game;
  • We emphasize that neither Trump nor Biden is an ideal candidate, by anyone’s scale never mind the Catholic perspective…we have to stop using our Catholic faith to justify a vote for either one. Inform your conscience, then vote accordingly.
  • The first commandment is to love God, and the second is like it: love thy neighbor. The second is not, “block from your life anyone with differing opinions from you.” On November 4th, will there be anybody left in your life, on your feed, in your house, who disagrees with you? Will there be anybody left in whom you can see anything but a political affiliation Will your self-constructed ghetto of thought be so fortified that you are protected totally from having to love those with whom you disagree, in other words, from having to love those who it might be a challenge to love? (“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” Mt. 5:46) After awhile, the feeling of being “on the right side of history” won’t matter very much when you realize you’re all alone.
  • Trump and Biden aren’t coming to your birthday party and they aren’t going to dog-sit for you, and they sure as heck are not coming to water the plants when you’re in Cabo. Did this election season lead us to push away, alienate, cut out, or leave behind the people who will?
  • In the Eucharist, we eat God and he lives within us. You walk out of here with God in your stomach, becoming part of you; but of the course the whole point is that somehow, by him becoming part of us in this way, we become more like him. Do people see him walking toward them when they see us? Do they look at the Christians who worship here in Spirit and in Truth and say, “those people are doing 2020 differently. What’s their secret?”
  • If not…they we gotta change. We gotta be different, we gotta be Christians.
  • Are we equal to our mission? Some are, some aren’t. Everything depends upon whether the Christians of today are equal to their mission. Everything. We have to be different in the world; can we do it? Let’s give it a whirl.


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