-Last Sunday's homily is available by email request
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org/readings
-check out this weeks LinC letter www.parishlincletter.blogspot.com
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00pm on Saturday and 12:30pm on Sunday
Don't Tell Anybody, but We Need Healed!
The title of this homily is obviously an attempt at a play on words regarding the gospel text. Jesus in Mark's gospel has this dueling banjos messaging: He is the very announcement of the presence and power of God in the world AND he doesn't want to be represented to the world through misunderstood expressions. If you and I go around telling everybody NOT what Jesus did for us but who we think he might be - that would cause a problem. That's why Jesus in Mark is always telling people (and demons) to be quiet about him. Jesus prefers to speak for himself.
I would say that this is the reason that every Christian needs to learn about Jesus from personal direct encounter. We have to meet Jesus where and as Jesus presents himself. That fact is at the root of the sacramental church - "don't trust my description of God's mercy - meet and drink deeply of the merciful Lord yourself."
That's why those of us who are his disciples need to resist the often condescending and guilt-inducing preaching that attempts to get "people to go to church". So many of us so often are trying to tell others (especially younger people) why they need to go to church. That reason is because we have judged them to be lost or broken and church would go a long way toward "straightening them out"! Yuk. I hear Jesus saying to all of us presumptuous preachers, "don't tell anyone about me, just go and show yourselves to be healed" and that will be enough proof for them.
So, the charge of those of us who have been healed by Jesus is to live a life of health and gratitude to God and all the people in the world who are lost and sick will follow us to church.
Jesus and the Leper break every law on the books in this story today. One who was uncleam came to one who was clean and the unclean was made clean and the clean was declared to be unclean, worthy to be hung on a tree. Wow. So the laws of Jesus' reign are not about "isolation" and "quarantine" but contact and communion - that's eternal life.
Have you been willing to break the laws of broken humanity and to expose yourself to the Lord's power even if it means that you will die to this world's system, condemned in the court of popular opinion?
The Leper need to first accept that he was in need. He then had to break a few rules and beg for mercy (real men don't beg). Jesus had to break a few rules (he had and showed compassion, he touched him) in order to fix the system. He had to be the victim of the system in order to transform it. To lay down your life.
Do we have such courage? Have we even had such an idea? Not me - I'm a rule-keeper. I'm in the system. Look at pope Francis....he doesn't not allow the system and the rules to silence his call for compassion, mercy, contact with Jesus.
Don't tell anybody, but we need healed.
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my 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!