I Love Him... I Will Follow Him: Homily for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Whether you first heard it when it had soared on US music charts, released in early January 1963 as the song that made Little Peggy March the youngest female singer with a number one hit at age fifteen.


Or, you're a fan of the Andre Rieu and full orchestra version from much later.


Or, perhaps you first heard it when Whoopi Goldberg leading a chorus of nuns, sang it in the wildly funny 1992 comedy movie Sister Act.


I Will Follow Him has become a sensational and inspiring hit for many.


I Love him, I love him, I love him

And where he goes, I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow.


I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go

There isn't an ocean too deep

A mountain so high it can keep me away


It's a song that moves us not only because of the upbeat and catchy tune but perhaps more so because of the message but imagine if it were actually true that we would follow him wherever he may go, wherever he leads us. It's a hard challenge for us and, as we know, for those who went before us.


That's the consideration that the readings ask us to discern this weekend, first, from the prophet Jeremiah and then from the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes.


In Jeremiah, chapter 17, God convicts the Jews of the sin of idolatry by the notorious evidence of the fact and condemns them to captivity for it.


Jeremiah 17:1: the sin of Judah is [written/engraved] with a [pen/stylus/chisel] of iron, and with the point of a diamond:


it is graven upon the [table/tablet] of their heart, [i.e., hearts hard as stone] and upon the horns of your altars;


Judah's sin is engraved as it were with a chisel of iron and a