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Sunday, March 3, 2019

A Homily – The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


A Homily

 2019.03.03 – (The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time) C

First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:5-8 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16 ©
Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14
Alternative Acclamation – Philadelphians 2:15-16
The Gospel of Luke – 6:39-45 ©
(NJB)


This is the way of things.

Our words go out from us like seeds, and return bearing fruit. They are the product of our thoughts, they reflect what is in our hearts. Even when we try to use our words to conceal our feelings, they tell the story without our consent.

The truth will out; like fractal geometry, the pattern will carry forward.

The things we say matter as much as the things we do. Our words are actions, they can move mountains.

Discretion is the hallmark of wisdom, and circumspection, is its ally.

Be mindful!

How you speak matters as much as what you say.

Listen to the psalmist.

It is good to give thanks to the creator, and to be mindful of God’s eternal mercy.

God is merciful to everyone; to those who have God’s name on their lips, to those who speak no word of God at all, even to those who curse God.

God loves each and every one of us, both in our humility and in our folly, the wise and the ignorant alike; God loves us.

If you sing praises to God in recognition of all God’s works, and give thanks for them as the psalmist does, know this; among God’s works are all of those with whom we quarrel.

God does not have any favorite children, nor does God love any one person above another.

Be mindful.

When you are reaping the rewards of the blessed, it is not because you have been blessed. There is no guarantee that that the just will flourish, and no guarantee that the unjust will perish. God does not interfere in our lives, the rain fall on the just and the unjust alike.

Though God does not intervene in the course of human events, not directly, God does promise to right all wrongs and to do so with justice in one hand and mercy in the other.

God’s correction comes in the spirit of love, and never to the detriment of any of God’s children.

The works of the wicked will pass away, but the wicked themselves (by that I mean all of us) we will be reborn as servants of God; as brothers and sisters in Christ.

No one is lost.

Listen!

Sin is not the cause of death. The death of our bodies is a part of God’s plan.

God is the author of death. God made us mortal and death is a natural part of life. Do not fear death. Fear of death is a function of a lack of faith.

The apostle blames the law as the cause of sin. He is wrong. It is not laws that cause us to sin, it is desire. We sin on account of our brokenness, we sin because we fear.

Be mindful of what the apostle teaches, he is often wrong, and he is wrong on this.

Though we cannot see into the next world, we feel it. We know the next world is there, we were made for it, we continue in it according to the will God.

Everyone continues.

The death of our bodies is not the death of ourselves. There is no finality in it, there is no judgement that leads to our destruction. It is a passage, like a mist, we pierce the veil and find ourselves renewed.

Never forget; God hears you, God will make the journey with you.

Having set aside fear, take joy in the work that is in front of you. Be content that you have found purpose today; purpose in carrying out the mission of divine love, in fulfilling the ministry of Jesus, following in his way.

If the service you give the world, is not a service to your sisters and brothers, to the widow and the orphan, or to the stranger among you, then it is not God’s work you are doing, it is an exercise in vanity.

God’s work is always in the service of the living.

Listen to the words Luke ascribes to Jesus, and know this: the blind can lead the blind that is what we do hear earth. We are all walking in the dark. Be humble, the truth eludes us all, teacher and disciple alike.

None of us are the equal to Jesus the Messiah, to Moses the Lawgiver, to Mohammed the Prophet, none of us are equal to Gottama the enlightened one.

Our stories cannot match theirs. We are ordinary women and men, they are figures of myth, the archetypes we aspire to, our stories will never equal theirs, we are not meant to live up to their epic example.

They are meant to lead us, we are meant to hear their call. All of us will fail at some point or another, most of will fail many times over, even daily through the course of our lives, that does not mean we are meant to stop trying,

Do not shun the hypocrite as much as your own hypocrisy.

Be mindful.

If it falls to you to correct your sisters or brothers, do so with a spirit of love, and humility in full cognizance of your own errors.

Listen!

Luke recalls the teaching of Ecclesiasticus.

Our words go out from us like seeds, and return bearing fruit.

Our words are the product of our thoughts, they reflect what is in our hearts. Even when we try to use our words to conceal our feelings.

The truth will out; like fractal geometry, the pattern of our words, both what we hoped they would reveal and what we hoped they would conceal will carry forward.

Discretion is the hallmark of wisdom, and circumspection, is its ally.

Be mindful!

How you speak matters just as much as much as what you say.


First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:5-8 ©

The Test Of a Man is in His Conversation

In a shaken sieve the rubbish is left behind, so too the defects of a man appear in his talk.

The kiln tests the work of the potter, the test of a man is in his conversation.

The orchard where a tree grows is judged on the quality of its fruit, similarly a man’s words betray what he feels.

Do not praise a man before he has spoken, since this is the test of men.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16 ©

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
  to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
  and your truth in the watches of the night.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

The just will flourish like the palm tree
  and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Planted in the house of the Lord
  they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
  still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
  In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.


Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 ©

Death is Swallowed Up in Victory

When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Never give in then, my dear brothers, never admit defeat; keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain.


Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – Philadelphians 2:15-16

Alleluia, alleluia!

You will shine in the world like bright stars
because you are offering it the word of life.

Alleluia!


The Gospel of Luke – 6:39-45 ©

Can the Blind Lead the Blind?

Jesus told a parable to his disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.

‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.’


The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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