Homily October 18, 2015 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, Faith, homily, inspirational, scripture, Spirit by Fr Joe R on October 13, 2015

29thsundToday’s gospel has two parts, the request of James and John and secondly what was required of a follower of Jesus to be a leader. The request of the disciples who were relatives of Jesus would be kind of a natural request of the two in the group following Jesus and seeking the messianic times. But, Jesus throws two roadblocks at them tight away. First, he tells him that he is the Messenger and position or rank is not his to give for eternity. Then he gives the clincher and wants 29thsuto know if they can drink the cup he will drink. Clearly, he is telling them that to be a follower, suffering and even death must enter in. As Christians, we know there is always an element of sacrifice and at times even suffering in fulfilling our faith. History has shown in every century that faith has led at various times and places to suffering and even death for men and women of faith. In our own time, religion and its practice is forbidden or restricted or controlled in many countries. The triumphalism of one faith over another is still prevalent in some parts of the world. The cup Jesus offered keeps filling up and is being emptied even as we pray today.
Which comes to the second part, that so many marvel at the concept and application, but seem to miss the point. Jesus didn’t come to confirm what was, but to give a whole new insight to God and seeking him out. Leadership wasn’t a throne and servants and armies and power. No, it was in loving, in serving, in caring. He was about people, all people and he cared and looked after each one as much as he could. More than anything he wanted his disciples to work together, to share their common faith not in a 29thsundayhierarchical way but as a functioning body that works as one. All is a part of his command to love one another as I have loved you. It is hard for us to get it as we are so used to being governed or served from the top down. But in serving all, Christ is telling us each of us has something to contribute and has reason too to hear, listen to his sisters and brothers. Christ’s life, his ransom was his gift to give us the way, the truth and the life.

Homily January 19, 2014 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on January 14, 2014

baptist3-227x300As we have said in the past, the readings for Sunday Mass are divided into a three year cycle, centered around the three synoptic gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Today, however, the cycle is interrupted as a reading from John’s Gospel is used. It is a repeat or further account of last week’s gospel of the baptism of Jesus. John doesn’t report the actual baptism of Jesus, but reports the testimony of John the Baptist pointing to Jesus as the “Lamb of God”, the “servant” who was to come to take away the Sin of the world. John refers to baptizing Jesus and the power of the Spirit descending like a dove on Him. John says he is the one who will baptize with the Spirit. In approaching it this way, John was emphasizing that Jesu was the successor of John and not a disciple of his. So as we enter the time of the year called ordinary time, we start by repeating the manifestation of Jesus to his contemporaries with a ministry that will now proceed to holy week and Easter. His one mission is to take away sin from the world, to make it whole once again. At the same time he will take away individual sins making it possible for all to be called and be united to his father.

Jesus-lamb-of-GodThose of you who are parents are aware of the power of repetition in teaching and learning. To underline and extend the message of manifestation of the christmas cycle when we for the most part have put all the trappings behind us, might help us to firm up our resolve to take those christmas feelings and blessings and share our joy and plentiful blessings throughout the season ahead. We are caught right now at a low point in our calendar year as cold and dreary weather affects us in many different ways, many of which are kind of negative. Certainly the news of Jesus and his message should help us to lift up ourselves to a more positive outlook. The doldrums of January and February can certainly be overcome by a spirit of love and giving that can do away with the monotony of day-to-day tasks. Like John we are called to give testimony and we do so by how we live and act. Unlike Jesus and John we may not be called to go out and become public advocates, but at home, at work, in daily living, who we are and what we are do, make a difference. How much of a Christian are we if we are always short or rude or ignore the needs or feelings of those around us. People really do notice how we are and some are drawn or reject Christ based on the people they know. Certainly, our relationship with Christ is personal, but at the same time it is a communal thing. He died to make the world whole by doing away with sin, and also to take away our sins. Thus there is a true interconnection of the whole of humanity and a call to look out for each other. Thus you see who we are and what we are important.