Sunday, October 9, 2016

Homily for October 9

Leprosy is a symbol of spiritual disease, the disease of separating ourselves from divine grace and from one another.

When I sin, it moves me to the margins, isolates me from feeling one with the community; but Christ reaches out to me, heals me and restores unity.   What a tremendous gift!

This is happening within you and me more often than we may think.
Example: I was with a group of friendsone was African American.  We were having a great evening of joking and playing games.  Someone asked whose turn is it now?  I said. I don't know.  Let's see, enie mini mighty moe.  And I stopped dead in my tracks.  I could not believe I had begun to utter such a hateful, degrading, and dehumanizing rhyme, not spoken by me since my childhood some 70 years ago.
The seeds of leprous thought linger deep within. When we look inside and find hurtful, imperfect, sinful areas, which separate us from Christ and His people, we need to stop and stand in that spiritual distance, that no man’s land, acknowledge the stark reality we know all too well because we have been there before,  and call out "Jesus, Master, have mercy."

He gives us a way, a path for being cured:  He said: "Go and show yourselves to the priests."  Jesus provides a means of receiving his healing graces; its the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where the priest represents both the merciful Christ and the whole community which is hurt by our sinfulness.
The more we see Christ within others, the more we are able to acknowledge how we hurt others.  Then in asking for mercy, healing can take place.  This Gospel is asking us to be the one in ten who returns to Christ to say thank you for healing me.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2 homily

Our job is not just to have faith, but to use it, to put it to use day in and day out, even when you feel it is useless to do so.
Habakkuk wrote for his people who were faithful Israelites for centuries and were loosing heart because life was getting rough and they didn't think God was hearing their plea or answering their prayers. He says be patient and focus, have faith, in the vision written on the tablets.
Isn't that one of the recurrent situations for people of faith even today? We may feel at times it is useless to trust in God, or to be just, and honest, and truthful when we see so much of the opposite all around us?
Paul tells Timothy, whom he ordained, to get in touch with his faith, or as we heard 'stir up the gift you received through the imposition of my hands.'   Like the Apostles, we need to ask Him to 'Increase our faith.'

In the Gospel Luke is addressing the rough job of Christians spreading the faith among people who didn't want to believe.  He reminded them of Apostles plea on the road to Jerusalem:  'increase our faith', and His response, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can do incredible things.  Then Luke immediately uses Christ's metaphor of field and tablefellowship: the field for the role of spreading the Gospel, missionary work, and the table for the role of celebrating the Eucharist and service within the church community.  These are two vital aspects for their mission as disciples who are to serve not be served.  

Christ admonishes them and us not to draw attention to ourselves, for our role is to be Christ in our world, in it is our joy to do so: we are only doing what we are obliged by faith to do, Oh Lord, Increase our faith, because it is difficult now when so many even in our own families are lax about witnessing and living out a vital faith life, for us to remain focused on our mission.

Each person listening to Luke, each person here today, has received the same commission at our baptism.  Ask the lord to help you put your faith into action.  Our neighborhood, our city our country needs for you to apply your faith.