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Sunday, July 7, 2019

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


First Reading – Isaiah 66:10-14 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm  65(66):1-7,16,20 ©
Second Reading – Galatians 6:14-18 ©
Gospel Acclamation – John 15:15
Alternative Gospel Acclamation – Colossians 3:15,16
The Gospel According to Luke 10:1-12 & 17-20 ©

 (NJB)


Consider the reading for today.

Say this to the daughters of Zion; stop! Do not wait for a savior, your only victory is peace, and the path to peace is reconciliation.

You will fulfill Isaiah’s vision through justice and mercy, there is no other way.

Seek it.

Do not look to aggrandize yourself with trophies, do not keep the “promised land” as a kind of idol. You have turned it into one already and you are suffering for it. Worse yet, you are committing crimes to defend it, you are visiting pain on others.

Listen!

God has forgiven your debts, you have no need to be redeemed. You are loved, even in your calumny

You are only as holy as you are in your daily life, and the measure your holiness is the service you provide your community, remember this; your community includes everyone, it includes, the stranger, it includes the Palestinian, it includes those with whom you are aggrieved, and those by whom you are hurt.

Forgive them, seek forgiveness through service.

It is boastful and dishonest to proclaim that God, the creator of the universe; that God has shown any one of God’s children, any family, any tribe, any nation…any amount of favor aver and above the favor God shows to anyone, even to the worst of us..

God does not intervene on behalf of any people or person, does not change the course of their lives. God does not break chains or crush rebellions. God does not establish kingdoms or promise that they will rule forever, God does not bless the conqueror or curse the vanquished.

God is not a land guarantor.

To the extent that your faith is rooted in such a notion, you have failed to see the way, you have substituted your own desires for the will of God and that kind of hubris is blasphemy.

Listen to the Apostle.

Set aside your pride, and your fixation with material world; with its honors and signs of membership, the marks on your flesh that tell you what tribe you belong to, forget the customs of your culture for a moment, forget the idea that anything depends upon your fulfilling them, nothing depends on it, they will all be forgotten.

Forget about the importance you place on how you cut your hair, what clothes you wear.

Forget about it.

What matters to the way is what you carry in your heart, the service you give, the peace you bring, what you endure for the sake of others, especially those weaker than you, less fortunate, those in need.

Give up your fetishes and the idols you have subordinated yourselves to. Give up your sacred books, set down the bible, stop pretending that God has made you a land grant, or given you special permission to do anything.

God did no-such-thing.

Give it all up for the sake of the way.

Remember this!

The greatest commandment is love, love is the whole of the law.

To love one another, to give of one’s self to another in love, there is no greater gift.

The love that we are called to is not the love we call desire, though to desire and be desired is an experience of great joy.

We are called to move past the love we have for family and friends, because to love in that way is only a short extension of the love we have for ourselves. We see ourselves in the faces of our mothers and fathers, we see our ambitions as tied to the ambitions of our friends. We are called to love in a greater capacity than that.

We are called to love to the point of selflessness, to love even those who stand against us, to love our enemies, to forgive those who have hurt us and done us harm, to feed the stranger and protect them…to do so out of love.

Love and be compassionate; carry good will toward all of your sisters and brothers, that is the way to proceed in this life.

Let it harmonize everything that you, including your faults and failures, let love and compassion proceed you as a servant of God.

The way is not easy, a life of faith needs support and nourishment from others around you. We discover ourselves in community, through our relationships we find the path to serve God.

Be mindful.

The Gospel of the day has a quality that reminds of me a recruitment manual, there are heavy notes of propaganda, it is filled with dishonest mythology.

The good-reader has no choice but to regard it as a false narrative.

The propaganda begins with the formal address of the “Lord,” an appellation given to Jesus, who was not a lord or a king of any kind, and never coveted such titles.

The first paragraph concludes with a statement of need. It tells the reader that there is much work to do, but not enough people to do it. The movement needs people, but not just any people; it needs people who are able to work covertly, to pass as lambs among the wolves. It needs people of the utmost discretion; people who are able to work without drawing attention to themselves.

It needs special people, and it tells the reader that they might be one of them.

The people who carry out this mission will be taken care of, this is the promise, they will be fed, they will be housed. The Gospel tells them to stay with those who are willing to give, when they
find those people to remain with them.

The third paragraph promises the recruits special powers; the extraordinary ability to cure the sick, to cast out demons, and the ordinary power to bear witness against the inhospitable.

In the fourth paragraph, the promise of special powers are confirmed; the reader is told that if they accept the mission, they will not only be able to cure, and condemn, but that even devils will bow to them, and that neither serpents nor scorpions can hurt them, and that their names will be written, like those of the heroes, their names will be written in the stars.

These promises take us far from the way. They are demonstrably false.

The way is love, the way is service, the way is compassion, the way is justice.


First Reading – Isaiah 66:10-14 ©

Towards Jerusalem I Send Flowing Peace, Like a River

Rejoice, Jerusalem, be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her, all you who mourned her!

That you may be suckled, filled, from her consoling breast, that you may savour with delight her glorious breasts.

For thus says the Lord:

Now towards her I send flowing peace, like a river, and like a stream in spate the glory of the nations.

At her breast will her nurslings be carried and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.

At the sight your heart will rejoice, and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm  65(66):1-7,16,20 ©

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
  O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
  Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

‘Before you all the earth shall bow;
  shall sing to you, sing to your name!’
Come and see the works of God,
  tremendous his deeds among men.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

He turned the sea into dry land,
  they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in him;
  he rules for ever by his might.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Come and hear, all who fear God.
  I will tell what he did for my soul:
Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
  nor withhold his love from me.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.


Second Reading – Galatians 6:14-18 ©

The Marks on My Body Are hose of Jesus

The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.

I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.


Gospel Acclamation – John 15:15

Alleluia, alleluia!

I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.

Alleluia!


Alternative Gospel Acclamation – Colossians 3:15,16

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts;
let the message of Christ find a home with you.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 10:1-12 & 17-20 ©

Your Peace Will Rest on that Man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.

‘Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.

‘Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’


14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

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