The following is a transcript of Fr. Simone's homily from this past weekend. It is a pious reflection on St. Sebastian's thoughts. A number of people have asked that it be posted here so here you go! Good job Fr. Simone!
“As a Soldier, I came to serve Jesus. As a soldier, you’re trained to discipline yourself for a life of service, to deny yourself, to step-out from safety into danger for the glory of Rome, to fight for victory: an honorable life.
But you can’t defeat your own pride. You can’t run from the pain you feel, from the pain you caused. Under all the armor and muscle, there is a wounded heart from the violence you’ve seen, a conscience suppressed under orders, a soul neglected and empty.
But one day, Your grace broke-in. In my brokenness, God reached-in and showed my strength to be weakness. For the first-time, I felt hope for hope: a way beyond-me, that I might find a way to the freedom my heart has been aching for. My heart knew, more than glory and honor, I need love and somehow, I’ve never really known what love is.
Suddenly these Christians who seemed so foolish, who were mocked, who were killed, who I’ve dismissed all these years, maybe they see something I’ve never seen. Maybe they’ve found something I need, that I was meant to have. Suddenly, these strangers feel like brothers and sisters. This Son of God: Jesus this Jew from Nazareth, He might be real. If He is who they say He is, I need this: this faith they seem to have.
My Jesus, My Lord, that day I met you! I’ve never been the same! It was the best day of my life! Forgive me for all the years it took for me to find You. How can I go back to the way I was? I can’t! I’d rather die than leave you, now that I found You.
These men I’ve served with, fought with, bled with, these brothers in arms who I’ve come to know. How can I not share this with them? If I don’t at least try to bring them to You Jesus, I mind as well be their enemy!
Jesus, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I used to doubt myself and hate my past, but I know-better now. You brought me just where I needed to be: right here. I have to go where You are needed.
I don’t care what happens to me. Your love is all I need. I Trust Your strength, not mine! May my strength be Yours. I won’t insult You by worrying about what I will say, what I will do, to make You known. I know You found me, saved me and raised me-up for a reason.
I’m Yours. I belong to you. Make-me Your servant. Make-me Your soldier. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. I’ve never felt so alive, so loved. I can’t imagine my life without you now and I’d rather die than lose You!
Wherever this path leads, lead me Lord. Your life in me is all that matters now.