Priest Hits Home Run at Fenway Park

I’ve seen some home runs at Fenway Park, but this one was unique:

Thanks to the Incarnation, you and I and God have one thing in common: we’re all human. And therefore, if you wish to be like God, be more human. And the way to be more human is to help others to be more human, to give yourself away.

If you told me a few months ago that I’d be recommending a video of a sixteen-minute-long homily, I wouldn’t have believed you. Nevertheless, watch this (and if you need more convincing, read the rest of the post first):

To understand why I’d make such a strange recommendation, you’ll have to endure a moment of alumni pride. This year, Boston College is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and kicked off the celebration with a Mass for students, faculty, staff, and alumni in Fenway Park. BC’s coverage of the Mass is here; a great reflection from a grad student can be found at Millennial Journal.

Preaching duties, wisely, were not assigned to a Jesuit (we brag about ourselves too much as it is), but to Fr. Michael Himes, a beloved theology professor at BC and a priest of the diocese of Brooklyn. As an undergrad there, I learned that he was a compelling preacher – even his daily Mass was often standing-room-only. And he proved it again on the infield of Fenway Park:

If you think of your education as a gift given you to be grasped, as something that you’ve achieved and will hold onto … if you think of your educations as a training to make more money, or get a better job … if you think that your education is all about your success in being able to provide for yourself and your family — all of which are great and wonderful goods — but if you think that’s what’s central to your education, then I must say … that I think you’re unworthy of your education.

You never own what you don’t give away. And what you do give away, you can never lose.

I’ll still be rooting for some real home runs at Fenway, especially after this last season — but I hope I’ll remember this one longer than any baseball game.

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