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Showing posts with label Proverbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Proverbs. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Homily - 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


First Reading – Proverbs 8:22-31 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 8:4-9 ©
Second Reading – Romans 5:1-5 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Revelation 1:8
The Gospel According to John 16:12-15 ©

(NJB)


The reading from Proverbs today speaks to the eternality of God’s wisdom, as well to the basic division of the God’s into more than one co-eternal being.

The author of Proverbs speaks of Wisdom as the personification of one God’s primary attributes, and as God’s constant companion and co-creator of the universe. In Greek Wisdom is Sophia and the name connotes a feminine nature within the Godhead. Wisdom is often associated with the Holy Spirit, God’s spirit, or the Spirit of Truth, a force for good which has been poured out on all creation.

However, in this reading the narrative concerning active nature of Wisdom as co-creator and co-builder of the universe is more directly connected to the Son of God, God’s Word the Logos, who is a representation of God’s reason in the world, and whose name connotes the masculine nature within the Godhead.

Wisdom and Reason are the anima and animus of the Godhead.

Sophia or Logos, Son or Spirit, the idea behind this is clear. The eternal God, creator of the universe, God is undivided and one, but for our sake we speak of God in regard to God’s attributes, attributes which god is never separated from: reason and wisdom, justice and mercy, and love.

Be mindful of how the reading for proverbs ends, it speaks of God’s delight in the company of the sons of men.

Be mindful of how, in God’s wisdom, God loves us, God loves us without qualification as to our righteousness, or our errant ways.

God loves us, is with us always, and delights in who we are.

God loves us a parent loves a child, God loves us as a friend.

Therefore when you pray, do not speak to God; the creator of the universe as if you were a courtier.

God is not Emperor, God is not King, God is not Lord. God is mother, father, sister, brother, friend and neighbor. God is the stranger in our midst.

God knows full well about the glory of creation, God neither requires nor desires our praise, but thanks in consideration of the cost in terms of pain and suffering that God bears on our behalf to maintain the created order for our sake.

Listen!

God knows what is actually in our heart when we boast of God in praise and song. God knows the depth of our belief, and our unbelief, God knows when we are true and when we are false.

God knows the measure of our faith and doubt. God loves us and forgives us just the same.

Be mindful of what the psalmist says. Reject the false characterization of who God is.

God has no enemies.

Be mindful.

When we say that we are judged as righteous and at peace with God by faith; we mean to say that our trust in God’s promise of peace and in the restoration of the whole world, a promise made plain to us through the life and teaching of Jesus, our faith in this promise allows us to lead lives that are righteous and in keeping with God’s will.

If we trust in God we will find peace, despite how we may suffer as we work for the restoration of the world; if we trust we will persevere in our quest to bring justice to the broken and downtrodden.

Let us not be boastful in this, but confident that the trust we have in God’s plan for the entire human race is itself faith in the vision of God’s glory, in the glory of mercy and the glory of love.

God is glorified in us, through right relationships, through the good we bring to each other.

When we are able to see the glory of God present in the lives of the other, when we can see it present in the lives of enemies and competitors, then the glory of God will be magnified in us, manifested in the love and care we show toward one another.

Be mindful of the supernatural when you encounter it in scripture. The meaning is always metaphorical, allegorical. It stands for something else.

Consider the nature of prophecy, it is never a prediction of the future, it is always a commentary on current events. In this case it is a commentary on justice and the nature of the good.

Saint John of Patmos claims a certain authority, it belongs to him insofar as he speaks the truth. the authority does not belong to him in his errors.

All of the saints, including the apostles and the disciples of Jesus, including those who walked with him and were closest to him, all of them erred, there is no denying it.

To error is a part of the human condition.

The central error of this passage from the Apocalypse is this: John pretends to have been given a revelation of things to come, but the future is not written, because God has made us, and the entire creation free.

We are from coercion and independent beings. Prophecy is not of the future, it is vanity and hubris to think that it is so.

This Gospel reading comes to us on a day the Christian calendar marks as the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.

What can be said about it.

For 1,700 years the Church has professed a belief in God, the creator of the universe that is “Trinitarian” in nature.

Christianity asserts on the one hand, that there is one God, one creator, one center of all reality; and on the other hand that God is three distinct persons.

Christians have always pointed to such passages as this in John to justify this claim, and yet there is no logic to it. The arguments for a Trinitarian God are absurd on their face.

The notion that there is a rationale for such a faith claim in this passage of John is also a claim without basis.

To the first part:

The Trinitarian God has three persons; the father, the son, and the spirit. They are all three, uncreated and co-eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. They are co-extensive in all of their attributes, where any part of the Godhead exists (God exists in all times and all places), the fullness of God exists without division.

This is to say that God is one, not three, but one.

Christian doctrine asserts faith in a Trinitarian God, but it will not admit that in the Godhead there is any division, distinction or differentiation. Christians have always acknowledged the logical fallacy of such a position, but have sidestepped the implication that this view is in error by asserting that it is a mystery, and that the believer must trust in the reality considered by the words.

This is unnecessary. God is no less God if we consider God in god’s oneness, rather than in light of the metaphorical trinity.

The Church did a disservice to all Christians when it formed a creed around its Trinitarian beliefs, which subsequently became a litmus test for all of those who wished to enter the church, or be in sacramental union with it.

It was a bold move of balderdash, requiring all Christian to confess their belief in a falsehood, a lie wrapped in a mystery which the Church could not explain and the people could not comprehend.

To the second part:

Far from pointing to the unity of three persons in the Godhead; the narrative in John speaks to the distinctions and differences in the figures of the father and the son, and in the spirit. It speaks of the son as an agent of the father, and the spirit of truth as a figure commissioned by the son to continue the education of the believing community.

It is all very arcane, and it does little to illuminate the central message of Jesus’ teaching, which is this; to love one another, as God loves us.

Our faith in God, in the loving God who created and sustains all that is, our faith in the son-ship of Jesus, in his mission, in the way, cannot be forced to be dependent on our acceptance of these Trinitarian absurdities.

God is one, God is one in Christ, as God is one in all of us.


First Reading – Proverbs 8:22-31 ©

Before the Earth Came into Being, Wisdom was Born

The Wisdom of God cries aloud:

The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works.

From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being.

The deep was not, when I was born, there were no springs to gush with water.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before he made the earth, the countryside, or the first grains of the world’s dust.

When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there, when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep, when he thickened the clouds above, when he fixed fast the springs of the deep, when he assigned the sea its boundaries – and the waters will not invade the shore – when he laid down the foundations of the earth, I was by his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in his world, delighting to be with the sons of men.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 8:4-9 ©

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
  the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
  mortal man that you care for him?

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
  with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
  put all things under his feet.

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

All of them, sheep and cattle,
  yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
  that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!


Second Reading – Romans 5:1-5 ©

The Love of God Has Been Poured into Our Hearts

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.


Gospel Acclamation – Revelation 1:8

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
the God who is, who was, and who is to come.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to John 16:12-15 ©

The Spirit of Truth Will Lead You to the Complete Truth

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.

He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.

Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said:

All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’


10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – The Most Holy Trinity

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Homily – John 6:51-58 ©


The Gospel According to John – 2018.08.19

The Gospel Reading             John 6:51 - 58
Gospel Acclamation              John 8:56
Ephesians                               5:15 – 20
Psalms                        33(34):2 – 3, 10 – 15
Proverbs                                 9:1 - 6

The Way and the Message

The reading for today is instructive. It speaks to us of the way of life that all Christians are called, if their intention is to follow the way of Jesus.

Let us be clear about this; not all Christians follow the way, and the institutions of the church have been opposed to the way almost from the beginning, though it does not know it. Know this as well, you do not need to be a Christian to follow the way, in fact, because of erroneous teaching, it may be a stumbling block.

Listen!

The Apostle calls us to be moderate and temperate in all the things we do.

We are called to sobriety and rationality, as we are called to the service of our sisters and brothers.

We are not called to service for the sake of our salvation. We are called on to service as a means of giving thanks to God, the creator of the universe.

If our intention is to seek God; look no farther than your heart. You will find God in loving service, in loving you will be blessed, and you will be a blessing to others, both.

Praise God through works of love.

Look for no other glory than the glory of humility, emulate God, whose greatness resides in God’s caring.

Listen to your neighbors, be responsive, rescue them from fear and encourage them. Reflect the lights of hope and love, God is present in these.

Remember this, with God there is no shame. God is no respecter of station, class or wealth. God loves everyone the same.

Do not look for God to save you from your troubles, the divine hand will not reach into our lives and change our circumstance. In this way, we are all Job, the universe is indifferent and full of suffering, but we are not called to indifference, we are called to share the suffering of others, as Christ did, and to alleviate it if we can.

We cannot escape the pains of the world, we are called to have faith in God, that we may understand how transient they are. All pain is temporary, only love lasts forever.

Do not fear.

Speak the truth.

Avoid evil.

Do good.

God see all and hears all, God knows all, even our innermost thoughts, our secrets and desires, our true motivations. God understands our experience even as we understand it ourselves, seeing through our eyes, feeling what we feel.

Keep your mind in the present and do not focus on the good things that may or may not come.

God loves us always, but it is only in the present moment that we experience it, that we are able to share it with others.

Listen only to those who teach hope…ignore the fear-mongers, except insofar as you are sharing the truth with them.

This is the way to peace.

The Apostle calls us to be moderate and temperate in all the things we do.

We are called to sobriety and rationality and to the service of our sisters and brothers.

We are not called on to do this for the sake of our salvation. We are called on to do this as a means of giving thanks to God, the creator of the universe.
We are saved because God wills it. Give thanks for it, and do not place your faith in anything else.

The eucharist is not magical food.

Eating the bread and drinking the wine does not confer the gift of eternal life,

Christians do a disservice to the memory of Jesus when they use the eucharist to divide people from one another, splitting them into groups of insiders and outsiders, and by withholding the grave which they believe it confers.

The eucharist may only be seen as a sacrament insofar as it fulfills the ministry of Jesus, which is to foster hope through the loving service we provide to one another.

The bread and the wine are the flesh and blood of the church, literally feeding the members through the gifts the members themselves bring to be shared at the common table.


First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6 ©

Wisdom Builds Her House and Invites All to Eat Her Bread There

Wisdom has built herself a house,
  she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
  she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
  and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
  To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
  drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
  walk in the ways of perception.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33(34):2-3,10-15 ©

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Revere the Lord, you his saints.
  They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
  but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Come, children, and hear me
  that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life
  and many days, to enjoy his prosperity?

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Then keep your tongue from evil
  and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn aside from evil and do good;
  seek and strive after peace.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20 ©

Be Filled Not with Wine, but With the Spirit

Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation: John 6:56

Alleluia, alleluia!
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me, and I live in him,
says the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel: John 6:51-58 ©

My Flesh is Real Food and My Blood is Real Drink

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time