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Showing posts with label Jeremiah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeremiah. Show all posts

Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Homily - The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Jeremiah 20:7-9 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 62(63):2-6, 8-9 ©
Second Reading – Romans 12:1-2 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Ephesians 1:17, 18
The Gospel According to Matthew 16:21 - 27 ©

(NJB)

The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Listen!

Do not ask God to administer the justice you desire. God’s justice is patient, taking place in eternity. God’s justice is loving and kind, and works toward the benefit of all creatures; rather, find it in your heart to administer the justice that God desires.

Consider the words of the psalmist:

It is right to thank God, the creator of the universe, it is right to thank God for all the good things that come our way, but do not blame God for the hardships we suffer in this life.

Good things and bad things come to us irrespective of who we are, regardless of what we do or what we have done, or who we might become. There is no plan to it; God is no respecter of persons, and God does not love anyone of God’s children more than God loves any other.

Praise God and give thanks for the good things, do not dwell on the bad.

Be mindful!

There is peace to be had in patience, in contemplation, meditation and prayer.

Make your life a constant prayer for the grace which comes from God, for the grace that brings peace to the spirit.

Let the peace of God within you bubble up like a fountain and overflow with abundance so that others may quench their thirst and be nourished by it

Consider the words of the apostle:

The essence of faith is trust in God, it is the belief that God, the creator of the Universe, the belief that God loves you, that God knows you and that God has a plan for you beyond this world. You must believe that this is true for you, and true for every one of God’s children.

Trust God, and allow those beliefs to transform you now, in this world; live as God desires you to live: just, merciful and loving.

Remember the life of Jesus, and God whom he called father!

Is god glorious?

Yes!

God is the creator of the universe and everything in it, but God’s greatest place is in relationship to us; God’s children, God greatest glory is the glory of a loving parent.

Know this!

There is hope in the knowledge of God, and remember that the hopes you have for yourself and those you love are meant to be extended to everyone; even those you do not love, extend the scope of your hope to all people, that is the way God leads us.

Be mindful!

If you think that God has promised riches and glories as the reward of the saints, remember the words of Jesus: the first will be last and the last will be first, and that true riches are not counted in gold and silver and precious things.

Consider the gospel reading for today, the most salient point we should take from this reading does not concern the prophecy of Jesus regarding his death in Jerusalem, and the resurrection that followed,

That prophecy is merely an exercise in propaganda.

The most salient reading from the gospel for today is not the suggestion that those who follow Jesus must suffer and die for their faith as Jesus did, such a calling is situational not universal.

The most salient reading from today is not the notion that there is a divine quid pro quo, that life is restored to those who sacrifice it; the economy of salvation is not a system of barter and trade.

The most salient reading is not the notion that there is a reward waiting for us at the end of days, a reward meted out according to measurable behavior that are quantifiable as either good or bad.

It is important to note that the disciples, with Peter as chief among them, the disciples did not understand the mission of Jesus, while he was alive and with them they rejected it, even scolding Jesus for his intention to follow the mission he had accepted, because it placed his life at risk.

Jesus went so far as to name Peter the enemy, calling him Satan; shortly after that Peter would deny him and any association with him, in the hour of his greatest need.

Be mindful of this!

Peter and the disciples lived with Jesus, they were closer to him than anyone, they ate with him, prayed with him, walked with him, slept next to him, and even they were confused about his mission.

Take this away from the reading for today:

If you find yourself confused about the way, do not worry, you are in good company


First Reading – Jeremiah 20:7-9 ©

The Word of the Lord has Meant Insult for Me

You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced; you have overpowered me: you were the stronger.

I am a daily laughing-stock, everybody’s butt.

Each time I speak the word, I have to howl and proclaim: ‘Violence and ruin!’

The word of the Lord has meant for me insult, derision, all day long.

I used to say, ‘I will not think about him, I will not speak in his name any more.’

Then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones.

The effort to restrain it wearied me, I could not bear it.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 62(63):2-6, 8-9 ©

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
  for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
  like a dry, weary land without water.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
  to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
  my lips will speak your praise.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

So I will bless you all my life,
  in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
  my mouth shall praise you with joy.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

For you have been my help;
  in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
  your right hand holds me fast.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.


Second Reading – Romans 12:1-2 ©

Offer Your Bodies as a Living Sacrifice

Think of God’s mercy, my brothers, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you, but let your behaviour change, modelled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.




Alleluia, alleluia!

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 16:21 - 27 ©

'Get Behind Me, Satan!'

Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’
 
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?

  ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour.’


The Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Homily - The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 68(69):8-10, 14, 17, 33-35 ©
Second Reading – Romans 5:12-15 ©
Gospel Acclamation – John 1:14, 12
Alternative Acclamation – John 15:26, 27

(NJB)

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Reflect on the readings for today.

Do not ask God to administer the justice you desire. Rather have faith in God and know that God will move all things toward a just end. Know that God’s justice is patient, it is loving and it is kind; God’s mercy comes to fruition in eternity.

Do not look to God for help in this world.

God, the creator of the universe, God will not help you.

You must help yourself, rely on you family, your friends and your neighbors, yes, even the stranger; you must rely on the alien to help you.

God has given you the strength to persevere any hardship. God has given you hope to lead you through whatever darkness lies ahead. God has given you the freedom to participate in the furtherance of justice, or to impede it, or to do nothing at all.

If your family and friends have turned against you; look to yourself and ask why.

Consider the wisdom of the psalmist and know the truth of their words. The psalmist is right, God desires praise and worship more than animal sacrifices, but both of those things are next to nothing compared to God’s desire for justice and compassion, for love and mercy.

Be mindful!

The scope of the creature’s actions and the consequences that flow from sin, cannot exceed the scope of divine intention and the power of grace to heal.

Listen!

Do not repeat the errors of John, each and every person is born a child of God. We are not made into God’s children by any power that comes from within us, neither are we transformed by a power external to us. We come into being as children of God, in the Word, by the Word and through the Word, the rational and divine principle that is at the root of God’s creative purpose in the world.

God made us this way and our status as children of God is as unconditional as God’s love for us.

Remember this and know that there is no deception in God, no falsehood, no fabrication, no prevarication.

The divine parent does not lie. Those who claim to speak for the divine must not lie or mislead, cover-up or hide anything in the pursuit of their mission.

Know this:

All human beings are prone to error,  we are prone to error, but there is no error in God.

When those who have ascended to positions of leadership in Christian communities lie to you, you must reject them.

Some will commit errors because they are honestly confused, but many other commit errors that are willful. They know they are lying to you and they do it anyway; they do it for wealth, they do it for power, they do it to hide from their shame…for whatever their misdeeds are.

These people have abandoned Jesus, maybe not in the whole of their lives, but in their lying they have, and every time they repeat their lies they do.

Know this, we have all forsaken God at one time or another, but God has never forsaken us, and God, the creator of the universe, God never will.

This is the truth.

Consider the gospel reading for today:

The Gospel authors should has left this passage where Jesus left it, with the exhortation to not be afraid.

Allow me to repeat this exhortation and take it to heart…Do not be afraid.

The Gospel of Jesus is not a weapon of fear, it is not secretive, it is not cryptic, it is not a demarcation point delineating for the church and its members those who belong to the flock and those wo do not, the insiders from the outsiders, the living from the dead.

The Gospel of Jesus, the good news that we have been called to preach, that Gospel is built on a foundation of love and hope and trust.

Jesus called everyone to the table, he did not ask for membership cards when he did, or membership dues at the door, he did not ask anyone to punch their ticket, he just said come.

Do not be afraid; come without fear or reservation, come as you are without shame.

The body passes and the spirit lives on. God, the creator of the universe, God did not create us for the purpose of destroying us, God brought us into life so that we may live and each one of us is precious to the divine.

God’s love flows equally to all people, not one of God’s children is outside of God’s plan for salvation.

Declarations and oaths, these are things for human beings, take none, make none, either for against Jesus, rather do as Jesus commended us to do, and follow the way.

Serve God, through the service you provide to one another, love goodness, seek justice, and exercise mercy in all things. It is through action, not words, that Jesus desires us to express our faith.

Remember this always.


First Reading – Jeremiah 20:10-13 ©

He Has Delivered the Soul of the Needy from the Hands of Evil Men

Jeremiah said:

I hear so many disparaging me, ‘“Terror from every side!”

Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’

All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error.

Then we will master him and take our revenge!’

But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, mastered, confounded by their failure; everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.

But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice, who scrutinise the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 68(69):8-10, 14, 17, 33-35 ©

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

It is for you that I suffer taunts,
  that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
  an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
  and taunts against you fall on me.

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

This is my prayer to you,
  my prayer for your favour.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
  with your help that never fails:
Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
  in your compassion, turn towards me.

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

The poor when they see it will be glad
  and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
  and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
  the sea and all its living creatures.

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.


Second Reading – Romans 5:12-15 ©

The Gift Considerably Outweighed the Fall

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even though their sin, unlike that of Adam, was not a matter of breaking a law.

Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift.


Gospel Acclamation – John 1:14, 12

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Word was made flesh and lived among us:
to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 15:26, 27

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Spirit of truth will be my witness;
and you too will be my witnesses.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 10:26 - 33 ©

Do Not be Afraid of those Who Kill the Body

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.

‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’


The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


Sunday, August 18, 2019

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


First Reading – Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 39(40): 2-4, 18 ©
Second Reading – Hebrews 12:1-4 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14
Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27
The Gospel According to Luke 12:48 - 53 ©


(NJB)


Be careful how you read the scriptures, do not confuse the works of men, for the will of the divine. Consider the trials of the prophet Jeremiah in the reading for today; these are the works of men, give men the credit for the mercy they exercised.

Only credit God with building in us the capacity to be good, and to do good, in spite of ourselves.

Know this:

It was wise for the king to free the prophet. There is wisdom in mercy, and through mercy the satisfaction of justice.

The powerless should never perish in the hands of the powerful.

Give thanks for the wisdom of the psalmist who says.

God is the God of mercy, God listens.

Bend your ear to God; turn your ear to your heart.

Stretch out your feelings, and you will find your way through the troubles of life on Earth, through all its filth and misery, as the psalmist says:

Seek salvation, which means wellness. Seek freedom from your own sins and do not dwell on the sins of others.

When you are beset with difficulties, look for other to blame, rather look to yourself, to your own transgressions, seek relief from them by engaging in the way, the way which demands that we love one another.

Listen!

Keep the way in front of you, be less mindful of the image of Jesus you cling to than of the way he asked us to keep; to be merciful, to love justice and to walk humbly all the days of your life.

Keep to the way, its course is not a race but a habit of life.

Be mindful;, desire is the cause of all suffering, even the desire to be good, especially the desire to prove your goodness to others, even that can end in suffering, both for yourself and the community you live in.

Do not be too eager to show it. Keep the way in front of you, and the teaching of Jesus in your heart.

Let your pray be a guide to you, to point you in the direction of justice.

God will hear you, God is with you.

Consider this.

The sheep do not choose the shepherd, rather it is the shepherd who chooses the sheep.

The Word of God; in whom all that is comes to be, it is to the Word that everything belongs, the shepherd chose the entire sheepfold.

Listen for the voice of the shepherd, do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text, do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to your sister or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger.

The shepherd speaking to everyone, and all of listen as we are able (or willing).

Everyone that is, all who are or ever have been, everyone without exception including all who will be, every-one of us follows is in the way, moving toward God, there is no other way.

Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey that another person is on, God is guiding them, as God is guiding you.

If you resist, God will be patient, God will wait, as God waits for everyone. The good shepherd has a loving hand; love is patient as love is kind.

Remember!

God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God.

Consider the Gospel for the day:

This is a cryptic passage.

It is fraught with tension. It engenders worry in the reader. As if the fire it points to is a thing to be feared.

In scripture fire is not a symbol of destruction, of punishment or of the judgement that leads to damnation.

This claim is true, even of those few passages depicting fire that are commonly interpreted as such, as the lake of fire is in the Book of Revelation.

Be mindful!

Fire is a symbol referring to our encounter with God. It represents our encounter with the person of God; God, the creator of the universe.

In scripture fire is a vehicle of refinement, of transformation and purification, not destruction and damnation.

Fire is the light of God.

In this passage the blazing fire that Jesus wishes would engulf the world; that fire is the fire of baptism, it is the grace of the Holy Spirit, a baptism which he sees coming to him, and through his teaching to the rest of the world.

Jesus’ death, his trials, his suffering; these did not transform the world, but they did light the way.
We are all called to follow the way, every generation is called.

The more radical our response is to that call, the more clearly we are divided from our old way of life.

Conflict will often ensue between a person and their loved ones, when one member of a community hears the call of the Spirit is move toward it, while others remain caught up in the distractions of the world.

Anytime the demands of truth and righteousness put us at odds with our conventions, mores and customs we face opposition. Perseverance in the face of that opposition is what Jesus is speaking to when he speaks of the consuming power of the holy flame. 

We must endeavor to persevere.

First Reading – Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10 ©

'Do Not Let the Prophet Die'

The king’s leading men spoke to the king. ‘Let Jeremiah be put to death: he is unquestionably disheartening the remaining soldiers in the city, and all the people too, by talking like this. The fellow does not have the welfare of this people at heart so much as its ruin.’ ‘He is in your hands as you know,’ King Zedekiah answered ‘for the king is powerless against you.’ So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the well of Prince Malchiah in the Court of the Guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the well, only mud, and into the mud Jeremiah sank.

Ebed-melech came out from the palace and spoke to the king. ‘My lord king,’ he said ‘these men have done a wicked thing by treating the prophet Jeremiah like this: they have thrown him into the well, where he will die.’ At this the king gave Ebed-melech the Cushite the following order: ‘Take three men with you from here and pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the well before he dies.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 39(40): 2-4, 18 ©

Lord, come to my aid!

I waited, I waited for the Lord
  and he stooped down to me;
  he heard my cry.

Lord, come to my aid!

He drew me from the deadly pit,
  from the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock
  and made my footsteps firm.

Lord, come to my aid!

He put a new song into my mouth,
  praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear
  and shall trust in the Lord.

Lord, come to my aid!

As for me, wretched and poor,
  the Lord thinks of me.
You are my rescuer, my help,
  O God, do not delay.

Lord, come to my aid!


Second Reading – Hebrews 12:1-4 ©

We Should Keep Running Steadily in the Race We Have Started

With so many witnesses in a great cloud on every side of us, we too, then, should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne. Think of the way he stood such opposition from sinners and then you will not give up for want of courage. In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.


Gospel Acclamation – Acts 16:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

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

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27

Alleluia, alleluia!

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,

I know them and they follow me.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 12:48 - 53 ©

How I Wish It Were Blazing Already!

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!

‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)