Sunday Homily – Archbishop Carlson: Be the Face of Christ

The Face of Christ

Archbishop Robert Carlson’s homily at Mass on Sunday called each of us to be the face of Christ as we prepare to return home.

Examples of People Who Were the Face of Christ

As Jesus tells the scribe in the Gospel passage today, if you love God and your neighbor as yourself, you will live. In the parable of the Good Samaritan that immediately follows that encounter, we find a beautiful example of a person so in love with almighty God that it flowed out into care and concern for another. He acted – even though there was nothing in it for him.

Archbishop Carlson held up St. Maximilian Kolbe as another example of someone who was the face of Christ. While being held as a prisoner at Auschwitz, St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest, gave up his life so that a father could live. Through his selfless action, he became the face of Christ to the other prisoners and received the eternal reward of life with God forever.

Missioned to Be the Face of Christ

Jesus’ words to the scribe to love God and our neighbor as ourselves were not just for the scribe; Jesus meant them for us today. We are called to be the face of Christ through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Archbishop Carlson gave us a mission and asked us to respond to three questions:

  1. Are you willing to take home what you’ve learned from this willing and are you willing to be a disciple of Christ?
  2. Are you willing to make greater use of the Sacrament of Confession, willingly open your heart to Christ, receive His forgiveness, and live your life according to Christ?
  3. Will you discover Jesus’ love for you by receiving Him into your heart and life through the Word and the Sacrament of the Eucharist and will you commit to attending Mass every single Sunday?

Archbishop Carlson concluded by praying that all gathered here, through the action of the Holy Spirit and graces received in the Eucharist, will be the face of Christ for others, whatever comes our way.


[The parable of the Good Samaritan] leaves no doubt who our neighbor is.

Jesus come into my heart and into my life.

The face of the young Church needs to be seen in our churches across this nation every single Sunday.

Written by Stephanie To
Stephanie To works for the Respect Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A lawyer and bioethicist by training, she is passionate about the Catholic faith and pro-life issues. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys making music (playing the violin, playing the handbells, and singing), cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and KU Jayhawks, and hanging out with friends. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephaniehto.