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Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Homily - The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


First Reading – 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 ©
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11 ©
Second Reading – Galatians 5:1, 13-18 ©
Gospel Acclamation – 1saiah 3:9, John 6:68
The Gospel According to Luke 9:51-62 ©

(NJB)


Listen!

God, the creator of the universe: God is not a maker of kings. God is a general leading armies. God does not desire sacrifices of blood and flesh.

God is a god of love and mercy, of justice and compassion.

Be mindful of this at all times.

Trust God, faith and confidence are their own reward.

God is good, all that is good flows from God, as everything flows from God.

Look for the good of God in all creation, in everything that unfolds for you. Look and you will find it.

There are no alien gods, there are only misconceptions of the one God.

Be mindful when you read this; because this includes our misconceived notion of the God we pray to.

The gods of the Greeks and Romans, the gods of the Persians and Egyptians, the gods of all the nations, the God in all our Churches and temples, they are one.

All images of God are the stuff of idols, whether they are made of metal, of stone, of wood, or of words, whether they are painted on canvass, or merely colored in the mind; they are idols.

Know this, God speaks to us where we are, in the language we speak, in te language of the heart.

God calls all of Gods children to God’s self, no one id left out.

We are brothers and sisters to each other, sons and daughters, and the human family includes everyone.

Read this passage carefully. The central message is this:

Love your neighbor as yourself, this is the whole of the law.

This is a shortening of the Shema, and of Jesus’ Golden Rule, the whole of which reads; Love God with all your strength and all your heart and all you mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, do not do to them what you would not have done to you.

As clear as these rule are they can still be subject to misinterpretation, as anything that passes through our hands can be.

Be mindful of how you live this command, do not seek the destruction of your neighbor because you yourself wish to be destroyed.

Do not withhold care from the needy, because you do not wish to be cared for.

Be mindful.

The impetus for the rule is your commitment to serve God, to love God with all your strength, which means that you must be open and honest and forthright in your loving, just as God wishes you to be.

God does not live with us here in the world, we cannot show our love for God directly; by clothing God, or feeding God, or providing God with a place to rest.

That is why we are called to serve our neighbors and the stranger, and even those with whom we quarrel (especially them), because the divine dwells within their spirit, they are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

By serving them you serve God who sent them.

Remember this, always.

Listen!

The reward for your faithful service is peace, it is peace in this life, and the knowledge that you have lived well, acted justly, done good.

God has prepared you for eternity, but eternal life is not your reward for doing good and avoiding evil.

The Gospel reading for today gives us an example of just where the early church went astray, It was at the beginning, at the very-start we deviated from the teaching of Jesus, and the lived experience of the way he taught.

We are given the thoughts of Saint Peter to reflect on, Saint Peter the Rock, who would have us believe that he follows Jesus because Jesus has the secret message of eternal life, as if this were the purpose of the gospel as if believing that Jesus is the “Holy One of God” is the key to receiving the gift of eternal life.

That is a false construction; there is no secret, there is no key, there is only God’s plan for that was drafted in eternity.

We are asked to believe that God the Father parcels out access to Jesus, to the truth, to the reality of life everlasting, allowing some to come to it while refusing others. None of this scheme is true.

Listen!

Here is the gospel; God loves you, and you are saved. You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn it, you are saved because God loves you.

There is no mystery, it is as simple as that.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.

God has prepared you and everyone for eternal life.

Believe it!

Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living in the way as if it were true.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to each other.

Now!

Reflect on this passage from Luke.

Have some empathy for Jesus. The road that the prophet walks is a lonely road. Even those closest to him are rebuked, Jesus critiques them harshly, again and again, because they do not understand his mission.

Jesus has been out in the countryside, preaching outside Judea; he has been in the wider region of Palestine, and when he turns his eye toward Jerusalem, toward the completion of his mission the Samaritans reject him.

Jesus, who had opened his ministry to everyone, encounters the sectarianism he is working to dissolve. It is a sorrowful moment.

James and John, the “Sons of Thunder,” offer to rain destruction on the Samaritan village as a penalty to them.

Jesus rebukes them, they are his companions, they have been travelling with him for nearly three years, and they still do not understand the works of mercy he is engaged in.

Jesus then encounters a sequence of people who are all seemingly willing to follow him, but they are busy, they have obligations. For them the time is not now.

Jesus laments.

Little has changed for human beings since his time. The divine work that Christians have been commissioned to undertake; that work requires a full commitment, and the understanding that at its heart there must be mercy.

Mercy, this is the easiest thing of all to forget when you are angry, lonely, tired, hungry and feeling slighted.
Mercy is the basic disposition that all Christians have been instructed to foster.


First Reading – 1 Kings 19:16,19-21 ©

Elisha leaves the plough to follow Elijah

The Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go, you are to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’
 Leaving there, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.


Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 15(16):1-2,5,7-11 ©

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
  I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
  it is you yourself who are my prize.’

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
  who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
  since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
  even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
  nor let your beloved know decay.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

You will show me the path of life,
  the fullness of joy in your presence,
  at your right hand happiness for ever.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.


Second Reading – Galatians 5:1,13-18 ©

When Christ Freed Us, He Meant Us to Remain Free

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you go snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community.

Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.


Gospel Acclamation – 1saiah 3:9, John 6:68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:
you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 9:51-62 ©

Jesus Sets Out For Jerusalem

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.
 
As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’


13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

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