Sunday, June 23, 2013

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C June 23, 2013

          I want to talk with you this morning about probate, about wills and inheritance.   An inheritance is when someone dies and leaves you something.  Now imagine you have a rich aunt Gertrude.  She never had any children, but she was wise and made a lot of money speculating in commodities futures: oil, sugar, pork bellies, etc.  Because she had no children of her own she left all her money to her nieces and nephews, to be evenly divided among them.  
          As an aside, we all know she should have left a considerable sum to her parish.  Unfortunately she and her pastor had a liturgical parting of the ways over the nature of church music, and she didn’t.  But I digress.
          Now if you are the only niece or nephew, guess what?  You get the whole thing, ALL the money!   But if you are one of 27 nieces and nephews, then you only get one  27th of the pie, a much smaller amount.
          I mention this because in our second reading today St. Paul tells us about our spiritual family.   He is dealing with the question: “Whose your daddy, spiritually?”   St. Paul doesn’t need a paternity test, because he already knows who is our spiritual daddy or better, granddaddy.  It is Abraham, a gentleman who lived about 3,600 or so years ago.  A long time ago.  But in our second reading today St. Paul tells us that we are all – spiritually speaking – descendants of Abraham. 
          That is good, because it means that we are in the Will.  We inherit Abraham’s spiritual blessing.  Or as St. Paul puts it today, “heirs according to the promise.”    What do we inherit?  The promise of salvation in Jesus Christ.  We are saved by being joined to Jesus Christ.  That is the promise of the fullness of life.
          Now unlike the situation of inheriting aunt Gertrude’s money, where the more people there are inheriting then the less each one gets, this is totally different.   Since what we are inheriting is Christ, the more members there are of the Body of Christ, in a sense the bigger the inheritance, the bigger Christ is, and the MORE we receive.  The more people who are joined to the Body of Christ then the more family, the more brothers and sisters, we inherit.  It is totally the opposite of the human situation.  With God, the more He gives the more He has to give.
          And in today’s Second Reading Paul assures us of that.  He tells us:  “Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.   For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ.”   
          And even more importantly, this is a real and important change because it makes all other distinctions and divisions unimportant. 
St Paul says There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”   

          It doesn’t matter if you are white or black or Asian, documented or undocumented, Republican or Democrat, gay or straight.   It even doesn’t matter if you are a Longhorn or an Aggie, or even a Sooner!  The only thing that is important, significant and that matters is that you belong to Christ.  Because as St. Paul tells us, if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant,” and then “heirs according to the promise.”  And that is very good news indeed.   AMEN.  

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