Categories: HomiliesPublished On: September 26th, 2020Tags: , , 727 words22 min read

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Famine – A Reflection for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

On first thought you might say, Father, we do not live in a famine. We have plenty of food. And you would be right. We are a country of plenty. But famine does not just refer to food. For example, I think we live in a time where we have a famine of truth. There are so many people expounding their opinions, but that does not mean they contain truth. To the person speaking their opinions they may believe they are speaking truth, but when challenged with facts will often shout all the louder so they do not have to listen to the truth. This is a famine of truth.

I wonder if we have a famine of common sense? Like the gospel today, we know what the right thing is that we should do. The first son says he will do the right thing but then does not. The second son says he does not want to do the right thing but then has a change of heart and does do the right thing. Common sense is taking the time to think things through to determine what is the right thing to do.

Although there are many kinds of famine in our world, the one I find most troublesome is the famine of the Word. Capitalized because I am speaking of the Word of God. The virus has kept us away from church. Away from the Word of God. True, we can read the Word of God at home, but our faith was always meant to worship God as a congregation, in a family, with other people. The virus has pushed us into a downward spiral of famine. The more we stay away from church the deeper into the famine spiral we fall. The truth is when we are in a famine our senses are dulled and we cannot use common sense to help choose the right thing to do. We recognized that early on and started livestreaming masses. You must admit, watching a mass on Facebook with a cup of coffee in hand and at a time more convenient for you is a lot easier than getting up on Thursday morning, early enough to get to a 7 AM mass. And if we are truly considering just the truth here, and knowing how easily we get distracted at mass, we probably were distracted many times over trying to watch a Facebook mass, getting the kids ready for school, answering the phone/emails/texts and then realizing mass is over. This is what I would call a famine of the Word of God.

We are inviting people back to mass. But Father, the virus! Yes, it is still here. But truth is, we have set up a good program to protect people. We are practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing hands and pews and kneelers, and so much more. We have noticed more people are coming to the 9 AM Sunday morning mass at St Joseph. Great! So, this weekend we will have the livestreamed mass on the television downstairs to allow more people to attend mass and receive communion. And if we meet our upstairs capacity, we will direct people downstairs. Or if you want to be downstairs when you arrive you can.

The Bishops have lifted the dispensation. Still, those who have compromising health issues or caregivers or aides for those who have compromised health issues or are over 60 or come to church and you think there are too many people already there, you have dispensation from coming to mass.

We live in a famine of the Word. We cannot pray in public places or schools or various meetings. We need to use common sense and realize we do not want to experience a famine of the Word at church. If you are feeling hungry for the Word of God this weekend, come to church. Use your common sense whether you can enter the doors. We pray you will come in. If you cannot you are still in our prayers.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Fr Ed Anderson
Email: fatheredanderson[at]
Phone: 715.817.3736

St. Joseph Church – Rice Lake
Holy Trinity – Haugen
St. John the Evangelist – Birchwood
Our Lady of Lourdes – Dobie

Fr Ed Anderson