Homily: Seventh Sunday Year C God's way or our way

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Homily: Seventh Sunday Year C

Reading 1: Background. God had David anointed. Saul was jealous of David’s popularity with the people. He feared that David would try to overthrow him as King. David is in flight and Saul is in pursuit of him. God tested David to see if he would trust in the Lord or take things in his own hands.

 

As we heard David had such an opportunity. David and Abishai, a trusted friend and follower came upon Saul and his troops asleep within an encampment. David could easily had killed Saul. In fact, Abishai sought to do this. But David trusted in the Lord’s timing. Even though Saul had disobeyed God, but he was still anointed by God. Even though Saul had become David’s enemy, David would not take his life.

 

Instead, David showed him mercy and spared his life. He loved and respected Saul, though Saul hated and despised David. David loved God more than he wanted to revenge himself. Abishai was guided and motivated by his natural inclinations, namely, kill your enemy when you have the opportunity. David was motivated by a higher more sacred principle, namely, do no harm to the Lord’s anointed. David showed his inner commitment to God by respecting what God respects.

 

Are we guided by the principle of the Spirit or the principle of the flesh? Does faith or feeling determine our actions?

 

Gospel: Jesus contrasts the life of one who is an adopted son or daughter of God to one who is a descendant of Adam and Eve with the law of sin within them. To follow Christ or to give in to the law of sin, that’s the question Jesus proposes.  The way of the Lord is clear. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. That is what David did towards Saul He chose to follow the way of the Lord, to be obedient to the commandments, rather than to yield to the law of sin within.

 

Two principles Jesus gives his disciples to follow. 1. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 2 The measure with which you measure will in return be measured in return be measured out to you.

 

In today’s world, we see that many are following the law of sin as descendants of Adam. An eye for an eye, hatred, killings, rage, etc. Jesus is calling us to act in the anointing we have received in baptism and confirmation. To love instead of hate. To forgive and show mercy instead of revenge. To serve rather than demand others to serve us.

 

Reading 2: Paul contrasts Jesus with Adam. Adam was the first man, who became a living being. Jesus was the second Adam, who was life-giving. Adam’s life came from God. even though Jesus as True God and True Man came after Adam. Even though we are descendants of Adam, made in the image and likeness of God, we came into the world alienated from God because of Adam’s sin. We were born alienated from God. But we have been reborn in the waters of baptism and have become the adopted sons and daughters of God. We bear his image.

 

Even as adopted sons and daughters, Paul reminds us that we still have the law of sin within us. We do the things we should not do and don’t do the things we should do. Instead of despairing over this reality, Paul gives us the way to deal with this. Only in Jesus and with his help can we live in relationship to God and with the strength and grace of the Spirit choose the way of the Lord and not the way of sin.

 

It is not too early to begin thinking of our upcoming Lenten journey. What is God calling us to embrace during the time of Lent that will bring spiritual transformation in us? What area of our life is not in union with God’s call to us? What needs to die in us, so that new life may come forth? Jesus died to sin on Good Friday and rose to new life on Easter Sunday. 

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