Homily Twenty-second Sunday Year B Obedient to the Word of God

By 11:18 AM

Homily: Twenty-second Sunday Year B


Reading 1: How do we see the Ten Commandments? Do we see them as a rule of life, helping us to become more the people of God or as a burden too heavy to bear and impossible to follow? Do we see them from a loving God? Moses told the people not to add or subtract from what was commanded. We could say not to interpret and dilute them to justify some of our likes and behaviors. Moses further told the people that observing the Commandments would show their belief in God and their closeness to God as well as their dependence upon him.


Today, does our observance of these Commandments reflect our relationship to God? Do our failings to keep the Commandments reflect that God is not relevant in our lives? Today, there are those determined to erase the Ten Commandments as a rule of life, because they do not believe in the Judeo-Christian God. The civil law is more meaningful than the Divine Law, because civil laws can be changed from generation to generation. Civil laws can be adapted to the changing times. For instance, “you shall not kill” is one of the Commands of God. But the taking of the innocent life of an unborn child is justified by civil law, because people’s thinking has changed to fit their purpose. Respect for life, which is the Law of God, is no longer the practiced way of life when the self becomes the norm, rather than the other.


We can go through each of the Commandments and see how people are or are not observing them today. Moses told the people that by observing the Ten Commandments they will be witnesses to the nations of the goodness of God.  When the Commandments are not followed or relegated to irrelevancy, then the civil law, which can be manipulate to fit the will of the majority at the time, becomes the rule of life, leading away from God.


Gospel: The heart of today’ s message is “You disregard God’s Commandments, but cling to human traditions. There is nothing wrong with washing dishes, hands, clothes. This is good hygienic practice.  During the present pandemic it is good to wash our hands, sanitize, wear masks, etc. But there is a greater disease that many times we neglect to deal with.  It is the disease of sin.


The Pharisees were more concerned with external purification than internal purification. By focusing on the Commandments, they would be dealing with the sins which can bring lasting and eternal death.


Yes, we should be concern about the virus and about cancer, which can cause our physical death. But how concerned are we about the spiritual cancer, which is more destructive?  We are all sinners. We all fall short of the glory of God. By observing the Commandments, we will replace sin with virtue by God’s grace.


Where do we start? Which is my greatest sin? Start there. As we look at a Commandment, don’t look at it from the surface. Take for instance the example of a person who goes to confession and says “I didn’t kill anyone”. Maybe physically that is true, but are there other ways to violate this commandment besides physically taking a life?  Here is an examination of conscience to reflect on. “The fifth commandment forbids: Murder, suicide, criminal neglect that might cause serious injury or death to another, serious anger and hatred, abortion, mercy killing, the use of narcotics, sterilization, drunkenness, help extended to another to commit a mortal sin, fighting and revenge.


Reading 2: Just as the Commandments are from God, so his revealed word is from him. As the Commandments are given to guide our life in relationship to God and others, so too his word. We are to welcome his word, which is given to us to same us. How do we truly welcome the Ten Commandments and the revealed Word?  Do we hear them, receive them and act on them?


Each Sunday we are privileged to hear God’s word. How do we receive it? What did we do with the word we heard last Sunday? Every time we hear God’s word it is anew and alive with meaning for me in my present circumstance. But if we do not act on that word, then we will miss the present grace God desires to give us in our lives. 

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