Search This Blog

Showing posts with label Year C. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Year C. Show all posts

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Homily - Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Christ the King


First Reading – 2 Samuel 5:1-3 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 121(122):1-5
Second Reading – Colossians 1:12-20 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Mark 11:10
The Gospel According to Luke 23.35 - 43 ©


Christ the King


Beware the folly of kings, beware of their pride and their vanity.

Human beings were not made to be ruled by tyrants.

Remember this!

You were conceived in the womb of salvation; it is pointless to seek that which has already found you.

Open your eyes.

Pay no attention to what the psalmist says: all this talk of secure cities and ramparts and thrones. God has nothing to do with these.

God, creator of the universe; is not a tribal deity.

God, creator of the universe; does not belong to one people, one nation, one world or one galaxy.

God is not a king, God does not dwell behind a walled city.

God is infinite and eternal and beyond our comprehension, and yet God is with us, within us; the being through whom we have our existence, in whom we came into being, God is everywhere..

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

The thanks that we give for our own well-being reflects a hope we should foster for all people, for the fullness of humanity.

Listen to the Apostle.

He see in Jesus the image of the unseen God, of God the creator of the Universe, the unknowable, the un-nameable God.

The Apostle tells us what the writers of John’s Gospel affirm, that all things were created in Christ, the Word of God, who Jesus of Nazareth is a reflection of.

All things redound to God, all things and beings are created through God and for Gods purposes; all principalities and all powers, all of the poor, all of the the alienated and all of those who suffer.

God holds all things together in unity.

Remember this, always keep this in the forefront of your mind:

God is not a king, a prince or a lord.

The Church, following in the way Jesus taught, can never be the extension of a royal dynasty, the Chruch is not an empire, it is not a feudal kingdom. The Church is a society of servants.

Listen!

A person cannot expect a reward in this life, for having lived a good life.

No reward shall be forth coming.

One person may experience a long life, surrounded by family and friends, admired by their community, living out their days in peace, and abundance. While another person may be reviled by their community, abandoned by their friends, framed for criminal offences and executed for crimes they did not commit.

There is no divine plan concerning what happens to us in this life.

God, the creator of the universe, God has made each of us free, and all of creation is free from divine coercion. The divine plan does not touch us in this world, it only promises to deliver us to another world when we are done with this one.

That is the way of things.

Believe in God’s promise.

The things we enjoy, and the things we suffer here, they are temporary; this is the promise of God.

We have no choice but to endure the things that come our way, or enjoy them, such as the case might be.

Our experience of this world is ephemeral.

A person may live their entire life outside of the bounds of good society and wisdom may still come to them at the end.

Listen to the voice of wisdom when you hear it.

Wisdom is wisdom regardless of the voice that speaks it.

Truth is truth, and lies are lies. Attenuate yourself to the differences between them.

Reflect on this:

Do not make the mistake of believing that God saved one of the criminals who died next to Jesus, and condemned the other.

Both men are children of God, and beloved by the creator.

A person is not saved because of their ability to recognize the divinity in Jesus, we are saved because God loves us and made us to be saved, there is no other causal factor than love.

The divine plan encompasses everyone; this is the good news that Jesus preached.


First Reading – 2 Samuel 5:1-3 ©

They Anointed David King of Israel

All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 121(122):1-5
They filled me with joy when they said,

  “We will go to the house of the Lord.”

Now our feet are standing

  within your gates, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city,

  whole and self-contained:

there the tribes have gone up,

  the tribes of the Lord –

the witness of Israel,

  to praise the Lord’s name.

For there are the thrones of justice,

  the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

  “Safety for those who care for you,

peace inside your walls,

  security within your ramparts!”

For my brethren and those near to me I will say

  “Peace be upon you.”

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

  I will call blessings upon you.


Second Reading – Colossians 1:12-20 ©

The Father has created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves

We give thanks to the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.

Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers – all things were created through him and for him.

Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.

Now the Church is his body, he is its head.

As he is the Beginning, he was first to be born from the dead, so that he should be first in every way; because God wanted all perfection to be found in him and all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.


Gospel Acclamation – Mark 11:10

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 23.35 - 43 ©

'Today you will be with me in paradise'

The people stayed there before the cross watching Jesus. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’


Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Christ the King

Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Homily - Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


First Reading – Malachi 3:19-20 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97(98):5-9 ©
Second Reading - 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Luke 21:36
Alternative Acclamation – Luke 21:28
The Gospel According to Luke 21.5 - 19 ©


Listen!

One thing is not the same as another. There is good and there is evil and the difference between these two things matters.

While it is true that God loves us no matter what we do, and it is true that the creator of the universe has promised to right all wrongs; the fulfillment of those promises takes place in eternity. While that plan is in place, nevertheless, we must still live with the consequences of our actions in the world.

Mind yourself, and your ambitions, your relationships with your family and with your neighbors, with the stranger in your company, even with your adversary.

Do good and avoid evil.

Heal the sick and do not cause suffering. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked. House the homeless.

Love mercy and seek justice all the days of your life.

Contemplate the ways of the loving God, and emulate them.

This is the way that Jesus instructed us in, nothing is more important.

Be mindful!

It is right and good to praise God the creator, because creation is miraculous, and its scope beyond human comprehension.
But know this!

God does not grant victories. God has no enemies; in God, within whom all things exist and have their being, there is no conflict.

It is not God’s justice that is shown in the machinations of human beings, it is human justice, and when human justice approximates the justice of God, justice appears hand in hand with mercy, and that is good.

God is kind and faithful to all people without exception.

God’s power is everywhere, animating the voices that give God praise, as well as those who doubt and cry out against God’s ways.

If you are an instrument of justice, judge fairly, judge kindly, remembering that God is love.

Remember this, and feed the people.

Do not treat food as a wage.

Give to the hungry, this is the way that Jesus taught us.

Consider the words of Saint Paul and know that they can only apply in times of great scarcity, when the whole community is in need, and the food that is available must go to those who are tasked with the survival of the community itself, to those for whom sustenance is necessary, because without their labor the community would perish.

Then and only then can Saint Paul’s rule apply.

In times of abundance do not refuse to feed anyone, even the miscreant and the sloucher.

Be mindful, weigh the text of Scripture carefully. There are many places where error has crept in and the teachings of Jesus have been subverted to the shortsightedness of human beings.

God, the creator of the universe made us, God made our world and the universe free. God does not interfere or intervene in our lives and our choices. The only futures we can predict are those that flow naturally from their antecedents, from the choices we are making in the present.

Pay no attention to those who use fear to shape their faith, or yours.

They are liars.

God wills that you live a life without fear, and the things that flow from fear; hate, anger, greed, and violence.

Consider the Gospel for today:

Jesus did not utter these words. They were penned by the gospel writers, written years after the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed, years after the war with Rome that led to its destruction, and years after they were expelled from Roman occupied Palestine.

Jesus was not a fortuneteller, he did not predict the future.

God, the creator of the universe, God has not preordained anything.

Do not be deceived; these are the best words, the best advice for living in the way.

Do not be deceived.

Many will come and claim to be Jesus, or to speak for Jesus. Every generation has such pretenders.

Do not be deceived, do not deceive yourself!

The gospel writers were pretending to be Jesus when they put words in his mouth that he never spoke. They thought they were doing good. Most of those who pretend to be Jesus think they are doing something good, or at the least they think they are doing something necessary. The gospel writers were no different in this.

Do not be deceived, and do not be afraid.

The world will continue to be a violent and unsafe place. We live in a hard and dangerous world.

Have hope.

If you dedicate your life to challenging those in power, you must expect that the powerful will act against you.

If you should find yourself in court simply because you are working on behalf of the poor and the marginalized, do not worry about your defense.

Your actions will speak for themselves.

Speak truth at all times, including to the powerful, they need to hear it most of all.

Love mercy, seek justice and walk uprightly all the days of your life.


First Reading – Malachi 3:19-20 ©

For You the Sun of Righteousness Will Shine Out

The day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and the evil-doers will be like stubble. The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts, leaving them neither root nor stalk. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97(98):5-9 ©

The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness.

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
  with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
  acclaim the King, the Lord.

The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
  the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
  and the hills ring out their joy
  at the presence of the Lord.

The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness.

For the Lord comes,
  he comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice
  and the peoples with fairness.

The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness.


Second Reading - 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 ©

Do Not Let Anyone Have Food if He Refuses to Work

You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.

We gave you a rule when we were with you: do not let anyone have any food if he refuses to do any work. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living in idleness, doing no work themselves but interfering with everyone else’s. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we order and call on people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat.


Gospel Acclamation – Luke 21:36

Alleluia, alleluia!

Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence
before the Son of Man.

Alleluia!

Alternative Acclamation – Luke 21:28

Alleluia, alleluia!

Stand erect, hold your heads high,
because your liberation is near at hand.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 21.5 - 19 ©

The Destruction of the Temple Foretold…

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.’ And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’

  ‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
  
‘But before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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


First Reading – 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 16(17):1,5-6,8,15 ©
Second Reading – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Luke 21:36
Alternative Acclamation – Revelation 1:5, 6
The Gospel According to Luke 20.27 - 38 ©


Listen!

Consider the reading for the second Book of Maccabees; and know that from time to time we are forced to deal with the false witness of scripture.

Be mindful and know that these writing are entirely contrary to the way Jesus preached, how he taught and encouraged us to live.

It is to the enduring shame of the Church that we continue to carry forward these misguided tropes from the cannon of scripture. We are not obligated to do so, and there is no good reason for it.

Remember; Jesus is not a king, God is not a king. God, the creator of the universe, and Jesus bear no likeness whatsoever to the kings of the world.

Reject these titles and all of the connotations they carry with them.

God does not prefer that we go to our deaths rather than violate the traditions of our ancestors, their dietary customs or their way of life. There is no glory in it, there is only death. God wants us to live, to care for our families, to make a garden of the world to be at peace.

Remember this!

God loves you and God loves your enemies too. God takes no sides in the conflicts that rage between human beings, kingdoms and cultures. 

Know that God is the source of salvation for all people, and all people receive it in the end because all people are subject to God’s love and mercy.

Have faith! God hears you.

God, the creator of the universe knows your thoughts even before you speak them.

God understands what is behind your thinking, God knows the content of your heart as well.

Pray and plead to God for understanding and wisdom, and peace, but do not expect God to act on your behalf.

God will not rescue you, God does not favor one child over another.

If you claim that there is no deceit in you, then you deceive yourself.

Do not be boastful or puff yourself up with pride, do not try to prove yourself with rash deeds which cause you to deviate from the way.

If you expect to be favored in God’s judgment you will come to disappointment. Rather live your life as you believe that God would have you live it, and take comfort in that.

Do not pretend to eschew violence while asking God to be violent on your behalf.

Do not wish violence on another, but rather cleanse your heart through the power of mercy and forgiveness; do it no matter how much it galls you to do so.

Know this, no matter how much you pray God will not protect you from your enemies. Follow in the way and pray for your enemies, love them even as God loves them.

When they advance on you, ask for mercy; forgive, and be forgiven.

Your enemies are not beasts, they are not monsters, they are the children of God.

If you treat them this way, all enmity will disappear.

Listen!

God will strengthen you, pray for it and you will be strengthened. The praying itself will strengthen you, but do not expect God to reach into the world and change your fate just because you prayed.

God made you a free creature, and God will not intervene in your life, either to aid you or to hinder you. God has left you to your own devices.

Be mindful! Seek the strength of your companions, encourage them on the way, and they will bolster you in turn.

You will falter and fail, but if you keep the faith you will rise again.

In the end God will deliver you.

Have no fear!

It is right to wish grace and peace on your brothers and sisters in the world; no matter what differences there are between you.

Wish them peace and grace!

Remember this:

Jesus is our witness, but not our king. God is not a lord.

Neither God nor Jesus sits on a throne, nor do they intervene in the politics of human beings.

Be mindful!

God forgave us our sins before we sinned, even before we came into being God forgave us for all of our crimes. We entered into life as the beloved of God, it is God will that will all be saved. It is God’s will that saves us. Our salvation has nothing to do with the blood of Christ.

Consider the Gospel for today:

As Christians, we should never be like the Sadducees who are depicted in this narrative.

Avoid the trap of legalisms, and the legalistic perspective or approach to faith.

Faith should be simple, in the way that Jesus himself expressed it. Faith means trust. We are called to trust in our greatest hopes, to believe in them as a remedy for fear.

Christian hope is founded in the resurrection. It is not merely a belief that we continue in the next world, but that the next world is governed by God, in justice and with love.

Consider what it means to be married.

Marriage today is much the same as it was in the ancient world, it is a contract; sometimes between two people, sometimes between families. It concerns the ownership of property. It is a transaction, it concerns the promise of future transactions and the disposition of properties; that will have grown or diminished in value according to the circumstances and choices of the individuals who are bound by it.

In some cultures marriage has come to have many other meanings. For many, marriage concerns love and romance, commitment and trust. Nevertheless, the core of marriage remains the same, it is a contract.

In the next world, the Christian promise is one in which the need for private property has disappeared. It is one in which there is no want, where material needs have altogether vanished, in which we relate to the personhood of one another on an altogether different level and so there is no need for marriage.

Therefore the question that the Sadducees put to Jesus is moot.

Jesus, however, gets to a deeper point. He takes his interlocuters on a faith journey, and he instructs them from the teaching of Moses, regarding Moses’ own faith in the next life.

He takes them on this journey because the Sadducees were a conservative group within the Hebrew tradition. They did not believe in the afterlife and they considered themselves to be strict interpreters of the books of Moses and the law.

Jesus shows them that Moses’ own words suggest that God, the creator of the universe, that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph, expressed in the present tense not the past. Indicating that God is the God of the living, not the dead, concluding this teaching with an expression of the universal faith that all people are alive to God, and that there is no death.

There is no death, not now, not ever. It is on this faith that the church was founded.


First Reading – 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 ©

'The King of the World Will Raise Us Up to Live For Ever'

There were seven brothers who were arrested with their mother. The king tried to force them to taste pig’s flesh, which the Law forbids, by torturing them with whips and scourges. One of them, acting as spokesman for the others, said, ‘What are you trying to find out from us? We are prepared to die rather than break the laws of our ancestors.’

With his last breath the second brother exclaimed, ‘Inhuman fiend, you may discharge us from this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up, since it is for his laws that we die, to live again for ever.’

After him, they amused themselves with the third, who on being asked for his tongue promptly thrust it out and boldly held out his hands, with these honourable words, ‘It was heaven that gave me these limbs; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.’ The king and his attendants were astounded at the young man’s courage and his utter indifference to suffering.

When this one was dead they subjected the fourth to the same savage torture. When he neared his end he cried, ‘Ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by him; whereas for you there can be no resurrection, no new life.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 16(17):1,5-6,8,15 ©

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

Lord, hear a cause that is just,
  pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
  no deceit is on my lips.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

  I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
  there was no faltering in my steps.
I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
  Turn your ear to me; hear my words.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

Guard me as the apple of your eye.
  Hide me in the shadow of your wings
As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
  and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.


Second Reading – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 ©

May the Lord Strengthen You in Everything Good that You Do or Say

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

  Finally, brothers, pray for us; pray that the Lord’s message may spread quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you; and pray that we may be preserved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for faith is not given to everyone. But the Lord is faithful, and he will give you strength and guard you from the evil one, and we, in the Lord, have every confidence that you are doing and will go on doing all that we tell you. May the Lord turn your hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ.


Gospel Acclamation – Luke 21:36

Alleluia, alleluia!

Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence
before the Son of Man.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – Revelation 1:5, 6

Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus Christ is the First-born from the dead:
to him be glory and power for ever and ever.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 20.27 - 38 ©

He is God, Not of the dead, but of the Living

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’

  Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’


32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)