Homily July 16, 2017 the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

15sun2I chose to have the short form of the gospel read today because most scholars agree that this was probably what was actually spoken by Jesus with the rest being added by the early church. The parable is one Jesus used to address for his followers the fact that he OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAreally at times had few followers and even some who would leave and go away. The picture he paints is a farmer who haphazardly spreads the seed in his field while planting and loses much of it in weeds and rocky ground and to birds and so forth. Yet Jesus says the farmer will get a return of sixty to a hundred fold on his seeds. To a farmer of his time, this would be almost a miraculous return as seven to ten fold would be considered a good return. Thus, Jesus is saying, the word of God is an active and enlightening and growing thing. Nothing can stop it and numbers of the early 15sun9 (2)disciples and the early church should not discourage or depress his followers. Amazingly he was right as we reach our own time, the word has spread around the world but unfortunately, we must ask has it reached the hundred fold that Christ said it could? Certainly, there will always be unbelievers who hear the word and move on. But truly, has the word gone out to all the world, to the far ends? Have we reached out to the hungry and suffering people in the world? Do we welcome the stranger seeking to enter our country or places where we live. The Word is alive and active, yet we need to listen and make ourselves live it out as a true follower. How each of us responds is how the word will grow.


The Ascension: What does it mean for us?

Posted in Uncategorized by fatherjimb on May 15, 2010

We are all old enough top remember the Lone Ranger and other oaters that usually ended with the hero riding off into the sunset on his white horse. Then you would hear one character ask the other: “Who was that masked man?” To which the response was always: “why, that was the Lone Ranger.” Now we all knew that the story of the Lone Ranger was of a person who in trying to right a wrong was left for dead, recovered from near death to assume a new identity, the Lone Ranger. After his “resurrection” he befriended people in trouble and then took no credit but always went off to the next adventure. But he did leave one thing behind, a silver bullet as a reminder that he was here and a promise of his return should the need arise.

The end of the story was always the same, peace and harmony were restored, healing occurred and people went on with their lives. The story of the ascension in some ways seems like the same kind of tale. This Jesus who was trying to combat evil in the world fell victim to evil and was killed. The resurrection wasn’t enough, he had to go about convincing others he wasn’t a mere ghost or figment of their imagination.

Ascension is the way the disciples and early church understood that Jesus was the embodiment of God. God entered into our time and into our space thus uniting time and eternity. A sort of decent-ion we call Christmas, the incarnation. That by doing this he made an everlasting covenant, a marriage so to speak, between creation and the creator.

But, Jesus was also concerned about his disciples (students) and promised the Holy Spirit of God to lead them. Unlike, the silver bullet, this gift was an empowering gift, one that made us like himself, courageous enough to enter into the world and make a difference. Yes, he knew that his disciples were afraid and confused, that they still didn’t get the message straight

Jesus was also grateful to the Father for having been given these people to love. He loved his disciples and he loves us. He wanted us to focus on the right things, not the when’s of life but the how’s of life.

Jesus gives us a promise (pro-missio) and a commission (co-missio), two words that come from the same root, to be sent forth. We are called to go out of ourselves, out of our way to bring the good news to everyone so that they find in us that the story of Jesus is not just another nice tale like that of the Lone Ranger who does nice things and then rides off into the sunset. No we are called to bring others to Christ.

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