Tuesday, February 18, 2020


HOMILY   SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME      Cycle A       Feb 16, 2020

In the long Gospel we just heard Jesus makes the following outrageous statement:
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.       //
          The fact that we do not have a congregation full of blind amputees is testimony that we recognize that Jesus is using Semitic exaggeration.  He is exaggerating to make a point.  We all know enough to not take Jesus literally.
          However, do we know enough to take Jesus seriously? 
          Because even if we do not obey Jesus’ advice to lop off limbs and gouge out eyes, we do need to respond by cutting out things and tendencies in us that are harmful. 
          For example, old resentments. Old resentments do not help you or  anyone else.  The longer they stew the further they burn themselves into our hearts and souls.  Tearing out an old resentment is every bit as violent and dramatic as cutting off a limb.
          Pulling out habits of laziness, of selfishness, of stubbornness that we have grown accustomed to is very difficult.  Pulling out the weeds of envy and greed and indifference-to-others is harder than pulling out the roots of dandelions.  But we need to weed the garden of our souls to be actual disciples of Jesus.

          And we need to cast out fear.  Fear does so much to block and hinder us from following Jesus more fully, more closely, more freely.  Letting go of fear is every bit as hard as tearing out an eye or lopping off a limb. 

          Jesus is calling for some radical stuff in this Gospel.  He calls us to cut out and let go of whatever hinders us from following Him.  That is tough, but it is worth it.  And we have the Holy Spirit to guide, strengthen and to help us. 
          As St. Paul reminds us today at the conclusion of the second reading: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, (what) God has prepared for those who love him.”
          God bless!  

No comments:

Post a Comment