OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C
Homily # 1
It’s very easy to find fault with things and people. For instance:
- I like eating at the Ritz, but all those waiters standing around give me goosebumps.
- there goes the Jones family, late again for Mass and walking down the aisle to the front seats so that everyone can admire how well they dress.
- everyone likes Helen, but she talks too much about her family
- the paper man arrives early enough in the morning, but he doesn’t throw the paper up to the front door.
No matter how good a person or a thing may be, it is easy to find some fault with them.
And while it is easy to find faults in others, it is just as easy to overlook our own faults. Or as Jesus says in today’s gospel: “We see the speck in another’s eye, but we don’t see the log in our own.” And notice the difference, a speck compared to a log. A little fault compared with a really big one. Why are we like that. Is it because we are naturally jealous? or envious? or basically negative and critical? and we have lived with our own faults for so many years that we have grown accustom to them, or perhaps have never known that we had the problem?
Several Sundays ago one of the Mass readings was St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (l Cor. 12, 12-27) in which St. Paul describes the Mystical Body of Christ. As baptized Christians, we are each one of us, a part of the same Mystical Body. And St. Paul makes note of how different each one of us is. “God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.” It is a wonderful concept, that each of us born of Christ in baptism is so intimately connected with each other that there is a unity.
But this is not a natural unity. By natural birth our fallen nature seems to oppose many areas of the Mystical Body. We tend not to see the good in others as much as we see the bad. We misjudge the actions of others very readily. We allow certain biases to arise that prevent us from ever being close to some people. In fact, there may be some individuals whose mere presence make us uncomfortable or even bristle. Such attitudes and reactions are certainly not compatible with the notion of the Mystical Body of Christ.
Today’s gospel from St. Luke follows immediately upon his beautiful explanation of unconditional love whereby we are to love even our enemies. This kind of love is not natural. It can come only with the grace of God and as a result of much work and effort. But this is precisely the challenge of today’s gospel for each one of us. To be so positive of all other people that we can accept them for who and what they are, that we can overcome those occasions when we tend to misjudge others, that we can stress the good in others and hope they can do the same for us.
It sounds like a kind of Christian utopia, doesn’t it? But Christ came to change the work, to transform the world according to the will of His Father. Today’s gospel is a challenge, a bold challenge for each one of us followers of Jesus.
See Today’s Readings: Cycle C