God has really become, in the western countries, a useless concept for most people.
No Longer Active
It looks indeed, for many, as if God is only a need of the poor and oppressed. The rest of us have money and power and food. Our Scriptures tells us over and over again that this way of thinking is an illusion. Yet if we hear the lessons of today and pay attention to this homily, probably we are among those who still have some faith.
We cannot condemn those who have lost faith. You and I are challenged to live our faith in such a way that others begin to see God present in our lives. We are not called to come to Church on Sunday and look down on those who no longer have faith. Instead, we should be asking the Lord to have mercy on us, to change our lives, to make us fully alive in Him so that others can see the presence of God once more active in our world.
It is not easy to live as a Christian today. It is not easy to tell others that we do believe in Jesus Christ and that He is our Savior when they ask us. If we do that, then our faith soon becomes apparent to others, not in any offensive way, but simply as the whole energy of our lives.
We do not come to Church to be better than others. We need both. Mercy is like a cloak, and covers much. This story leaves us with a good question — am I the one or the other, or a bit of both? If I say I am not like the one, then I am judging the other!
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection
This is a day to remember missionaries, and one I remember is Fr Frank. He was a Jesuit who worked in Zambia. Like many he left Ireland for three years in to work as a teacher before ordination and learn the language. After ordination he returned to parishes in Zambia until I remember him, and others, visiting our school, introducing us to the world of Africa, Japan, and Hong Kong.
It was both an exciting life for them, and frustrating and lonely. We salute them today, many of them in the nursing homes of their religious congregation who try to look after them well. They did all this to follow Jesus; to bring the kingdom of God into education, parishes, and health care to a new world. They wanted to make the world of the poorer nations better and in many ways they succeeded.
They are followed today by many who want to do the same, in ways suited to today. Mission Sunday is a reminder to pray for our people helping in the struggle for faith and justice, equality and peace in many countries. They need our prayers and our help, and we are proud of them.
May we in our parish, Lord, remember to support the church in other parts of the world? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. Over the past couple of weeks, one of the stories that made headlines was the perks of politicians that many argue, fail the pub test.
Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2016, Year C
We might resent such entitlements and those who benefit from them. However, there is another sense of entitlement that is more innate, more subtle and more pervasive in all of us. This is the mentality that attributes our successes and achievements to ourselves. More importantly, this mentality inclines us to be judgmental of those less fortunate than we are and blame them for their predicaments and failures.
The Word of God today exposes such a mentality as fundamentally self-serving and delusional. Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in a way that cuts through layers of human prejudices.
The Pharisee is often held up as an example of moral uprightness. Yet through the prism of Jesus, he is seen as self-serving and delusional. The Pharisee is the person with the ultimate sense of entitlement.