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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sunday, October 23 - homily Prep

-Last week's homily is available by email:
-This Sunday's scriptures are available at >
-I am presiding at 12:30 Mass on Sunday

Jesus On Loving Neighborliness

In our multi-cultural world we are often pushed to the "one God" political correctness. We try to make all the religions of the world to be fundamentally about the same thing..."there's only one God, afterall". As Christians we can be challenged to wonder "what was or is the impact of Jesus?"

Today's gospel is an experience of this wondering and an answer to it. Jesus gives us the greatest commandment for religious followers and he seems to be just quoting the Hebrew God(Deut 6) and your neighbor as yourself(Lev 19). So, nothing new with Jesus?! Right? ,Wrong.

Rule #1: Jesus is not a prophet teaching about God's commands to love, he IS the God who commands AND loves. In fact Jesus re-defines and models what it means to "love" - give self away unto death. That is news and it is new.

Rule #2: Hidden in Jesus' use of the word "neighbor" is another revolutionary bit of news: your neighbor is "everyone" near you (not just your kinsman or fellow Israelite of Leviticus law that he cites). It gets bigger and better becuase as we come to discover, our neighbor (one who is near you) in distress is not cursed, to be feared, or ignored but IS Jesus Himself (Mt 25.... "the least of these are ME"). Now, with this piece of startling news, re-read Rule #1.

Jesus is not your grandmother's Rabbi. He is not only teacher but TEACHING, not just revealing but REVELATION! This is NEW, in fact it is NEWS, in fact it is GOOD NEWS and that's why we call it the life changing Gospel. Does Jesus make enough difference in your religious life?


JoyFuralle said...

This is going to bea tough homily to get across. Reaction... When I first read through, gut reaction … confusing, what is the point? Had to also go to the preceding chapter in Matthew to find out what the deal was with Jesus silencing the Sadducees, what that was about, how it fit.

Another reaction after reading and re-reading ... timely . . . I DON'T know how to respond to those persons who go with the politically correct “there is after all one God”.

Examples… I have a 70+ Muslim friend from Turkey who says, God is God, I call him Allah, you call Him Jesus, all the same God. She is filled with such anxiety and really wears out her “worry beads” and prayer rug. I notice the only people she does anything for is her son or grandchildren, but not the wife. She also questions why I do things for strangers (that's how I met her!), why don’t I get a job that pays money instead of just helping people. I've just realized she does not have the Peace Christ brings! And I realize I don’t mention Jesus. Cultural influence of being politically correct.

anon 1 said...

I like the Matador’s pattern in the last paragraph – He is not only teacher, but TEACHING, etc. It helps me reflect on these Scriptures and the greatest commandment so that I consider the call of not only being a follower of Jesus as lover, but to BE loving. To BE that within and throughout would mean the lack of wherewithal to be selfish, unkind, ungrateful. It would be the essence of who and what I am. It would not matter whether I was interacting with my husband, best friend, stranger, or rival – the nature and essence of loving would still be encountered by the one with whom I was in contact. There would be no changing it, no denying it. That understanding of Jesus – to see His very BEING as loving – does make a difference in my religious life, weaving into the way I want to live my entire life. I see it as the only True way to live – the way we are called to BE. And with the Matador’s reflection, I am reminded that it is through knowing and communing with Jesus – the One who is love – that I/we find the means to this existence.

JoyFuralle said...

Reaction . . . again . . . Wait! Hold on! OMG, OMG, OMG!!!

Wow, this is partially about taking God for granted and taking Jesus for granted, thinking I know the Lord and all about Him and that the good I do cuts the mustard!!!

You will have to speak this homily more slowly (and repeat for emphasis) if I'm following what you're saying. . . it's really naming & connecting the dots completely. . . Talk about bigger and bigger . . .

confused said...

In light of this month of respect for life - there are 2 homilys that stick in my mind that I think directly relate to this weeks's scripture. Those 2, if i can recall correctly, are the homilys on the Baptism of the Lord and the homily from April 3rd. Not sure how i can remember that. I also wanted to listen to them again because i have found myself in a state of confusion having mixed up 2 things in my life - what is it i really heard and at what point did i become confused. I myself feel as cursed, feared and ignored. I'd like to get out of that and make Peace. Where's the Homily Library?

Anonymous said...

Love is action.
Doing for others is love.
As the Spaniards say:

Anonymous said...

Gitana, I am looking for a book called: "The Way of the Disciple by,Erasmo Levi-Merikakis. I can't buy it right now and am hoping maybe you know about this book and know where it can be borrowed from. The library does not have it. thanks -

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have it in my Kindle, I must admit it is a new book and I had no the time to even start it, the reviews are very great!
If you allow me, I can find one (book) and you can have it.I will post when I have it and we make plans. Let me know. Gitana

Anonymous said...

gitana, thanks so much. i would be grateful even for just a borrow.

Anonymous said...

Okay. It will take a few days since I will order it. I will tell you here at the Matador. Gitana.

Jim said...

Anonymous, I found your book after a quick search. (Leiva-Merikakis)
It can be ordered from OhioLINK, through county library. Here is the web page. Just copy and paste this into your web browser.