Homily, October 23, 2016. The 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, forgiveness, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on October 20, 2016

30-sunThe story of the Pharisee and the tax collector is one we have heard often over time. It is paired with the reading from Sirach about God as a just judge, looking out for everyone and Paul in Timothy explaining how he gave his life to the Lord. If we turn to the gospel story, we first should realize that the Pharisee was not a bad person. All the acts and sacrifices he describes are good works and even expected of someone of his place in society. Yet, in the end Jesus criticized the Pharisee because of where he was and what he said. His prayer is full of “I’s”. His concern is for himself, his well-being, not for others or the community. His list is one of what would be expected of a Pharisee, a form almost of self praise. The tax collector on the other hand, was in a way fearful and acknowledged that as a sinful man he was unworthy. His prayer was to ask for God’s mercy. In the end, Jesus said the tax collector left justified in his 30-sun-4prayer. God judges in his own way and time. He is a just judge who knows each of us intimately, knows who we are and how we think. He knows our actions and how we relate to others. He judges us not only on what we are expected to do, but also when we fall short of what we can and should do. It is ironic, that in almost all that we do, we can never reach perfection. In our faith and in our love and actions toward others, we can always fall short. I once had a professor who called it the uneasy conscience of a Christian, always asking and suggesting, “can I do more?” Should we be satisfied saying I did the best I could? Sometimes we must be, while at other times, we just might be called to keep going. In all our lives, everyday brings different and even new things into our lives. How we meet and live our lives meeting new things and people and challenges is how we witness and live our faith. Using our prayer life in a humble, realistic way seeking God’s mercy will lead us also to justification.


On CACINA’s Anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized by fatherjimb on January 24, 2011

On the 23rd of January we celebrate the founding of the Catholoic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA). Perhaps this is a good time to consider what church really means. I must first warn you that you are dealing with a church with a very strange God and an even stranger people. This is a God who calls us out of ourselves and while you are too small to understand this, your parents and others will help you understand its importance. The Christian community in which we are members is also strange because we freely take on the responsibility for others.

Perhaps it is best to talk about the church as a mnemonic.

Cis for Christ who is not only the head of the church he is its core and its body to which we are members.

H is for healing, the process Christ uses to mend our hearts and souls in a riven world.

U is for us, for Christ comes not only to us as individuals but to as a community. Christ uses us to make his kingdom a reality.

R is for Real. We need to be real, to be authentic in our approach to our faith, to live it out not just play lip service.

C is for community, for this triune God is community to which we strive to emulate. Community is where we live out the message and become more than ourselves, where the whole becomes greater than the collection of individuals.

H is for help. Our role in church is to help Christ by being is eyes, ears, hands and heart to a struggling world.

St Charles of Brazil was one of those individuals who, born to position and wealth, came to understand what it meant to know Christ, let Christ heal him, Use him to make a difference, become a real, authentic Christian standing up for the poor and fighting injustice, building and sustaining a community of faith and allowing that community to reach out to help bring Christ to the world.

The founding of CACINA in the US 62 years ago marks a point in time when a new part of the faith journey began. However, we cannot be simply a group of believers who pay lip services to our faith nor can we become a social service agency however laudable that may be.

There was an old woman who lived in a hut who strove to reach the Buddhist Nirvana. She was known for her holiness and many came to seek her advice. She was asked what her life was before she was enlightened and what it was now. Without pause the old woman related that before enlightenment she would rise every morning, fetch water, chop wood, make a meal and clean the hut. After enlightenment, she would rise every morning fetch water, chop wood, make a meal and clean the hut. Being a Christian does not exempt us from the daily tasks but requires us to do them with the same diligence as always.

We should use this happy feast to remind ourselves to Christ’s heart and hands and lips to a troubled world. Together we are church in the best sense of the word.

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