In June 2018, we were blessed to have Fr. Rob Galea visit our Toronto office and studio. On Thursday, June 28, he concelebrated Mass with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, in our Gaetano and Giuseppina Gagliano Holy Cross Chapel. He offered a beautiful homily on the Gospel reading for the day (Matthew 7:21-29), reflecting on the importance of falling in love with God.
Watch the video above or on YouTube, or read the transcript of his homily below.
To learn more about Fr. Rob, follow the links at the bottom of the page.
Homily by Fr. Rob Galea on Matthew 7:21-29
I think one of the things that struck me when I meditated on this – I started meditating on it about four days ago when Fr. Tom told me that I may have to give a reflection. In fact, before I walked in, I just asked Fr. Tom to pick up the pieces at the end, to make sure it is a bit Scriptural.
But one of the things that really impacts my heart when I read this – and every time I read this – is the understanding how – especially working in a place like this – that our Christianity, our Catholicism can become industry. It can become something that we can hide behind. We think, “Ah, I work for a Catholic institution. Okay, I work for the Church. I do things for God, and God continues to use me and give me grace and give me creativity and give me power and give me the ability to reach out to people and to change lives of people, even when I don’t pray.”
Now, believe me, God will continue to use us when we don’t pray. That’s the way God works. God doesn’t take his gifts away from us. He takes away the joy of those gifts when we stop praying, but he will not take away his gifts from us when we decide that we don’t want to pursue this relationship with God. And this is scary. This is scary for me. I just came from a 30-day silent retreat, and I just start to realize how much in those 30 days, when I look back, how much in my ministry, which has grown – it has grown, and I’ve seen God work so powerfully – but how much I have compromised in my relationship with God. Not waking up early, like I used to, to pray. Not going to Mass as much as I could, as I did in the past. Not speaking to God, not surrendering to God, not choosing poverty at moments when I know I can.
And this compromise can really happen. You see, just because you were in love with God once doesn’t mean you are today. And this is scary. This is scary for me. And not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven because we can so easily, rather than live on the fresh bread that God gives us, the bread we eat can be so stale, and so disempowering and so tiring, not because what we’re doing is wrong but because of the reason why we’re doing it. We’re not doing it out of love anymore.
And it’s about falling in love. It is. Honestly, it is about falling in love, and I remember one of the situations in my life. When I was a teenager, I was going out. I had a girlfriend, and I was in love. I really was in love. And Malta is really hot. It’s a hot country: like, it’s 45 degrees. Not as in…its temperature is hot. And it’s, like, 45-degree heat, and in the middle of summer you don’t go out. You don’t go out. You don’t drive. The shops close between 1 o’clock and 4 o’clock because the temperature is so high. There’s a lot of road rage. And so things shut down. But I get a telephone call from my girlfriend, and she says, “Rob, can you come please and pick me up because my car won’t start because of the heat.”
Now, I was in an air-conditioned room. I didn’t want to leave. I was watching TV. But you know what? The minute she called me, I just got up and I went. I didn’t think about the heat. I didn’t think about how difficult it was going to be. I didn’t think about the road rage. And I went into my car. My car was a convertible. Now, it was a convertible because the roof fell off. It was a piece of junk. And I go into this car, and I go and pick her up. And all I could think about was, “Wow, I cannot wait to spend time with her.” And I couldn’t wait to hang out with her and to spend the afternoon with her and then drop her off again at work at 4 o’clock.
And this is again the same when we work with God. Are we working out of duty? Are we working for a paycheque? Are we working because we’ve always done that? Are we doing this because we cannot think of doing anything else? Or are we doing it because we are in love?
And this is my cry to you – is to pray. Falling in love is impossible without persistent prayer, without praying every day, without the discipline of falling in love with Jesus, because you’re going to fall out of love by the – I pray every morning for an hour in the morning and about 20 minutes at night. By the time I get to the 20 minutes at night, I’m thinking, “Oh my goodness, what a long way I’ve faded in that day,” let alone a life without prayer.
And so this is my prayer for you: that you would pick up this discipline of prayer again so that when it comes and you cry out, “Lord, Lord,” not only will God recognize you, but like the prodigal father who ran towards his son, God will run towards you, and your arms will be open and your heart will be ready.
So this is it: Fall in love. Fall in love through prayer. Fall in love and do everything you do – not out of duty, not out of a paycheque, but out of love for Jesus, who’s madly, madly in love with you.
Fr. Rob Galea is a Catholic priest, singer-songwriter, and the founder of FRG ministry, “a Catholic movement bringing the love of Jesus and his message of hope to people of all ages across the world.” A native of Malta, he is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst in Australia. To watch his music videos, vlog, and teaching videos, visit his YouTube channel.
Coming later this year: Fr. Rob Galea on WITNESS with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB. Watch our TV schedule or visit the WITNESS website.
And if you don't want to wait until then, check out his interview with Deacon Pedro on Catholic Focus in 2014.