Homily Thirteenth Sunday Year A How committed are we?

By 10:39 AM


Homily Thirteenth Sunday Year A


Reading 1: The woman recognized the holiness of Elisha and provided for his needs. Unconnected but as a result, she received a gift from God, a child. The gift of hospitality to his prophet is rewarded by God. God sees the heart of the woman. Her honoring Elisha was her way of recognizing God and trying to respond to what God commanded, namely to show hospitality.


Her focus was God. Elisha was just the recipient of her faith and love, her commitment to God. We can’t have a real, true relationship with God without it being expressed in the ways pleasing to God.


Her hospitality ties in with the Gospel. Whoever receives a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Who are the prophets and holy ones who come into our lives? Do we recognize them to be such? How do we treat them and why?


Gospel: We have a series of independent sayings of Jesus that center around the relationship of a disciple to Jesus as Lord and Master. He is the center of our lives.


It is not that Jesus wants us to hate our parents, that would be in opposition to the Fourth Commandment. But in loving and being obedient to them, we are to love and be obedient more to Jesus, if we acknowledge him as the Lord of our lives.


The same is true with other family members. We are not to focus so much on them that we neglect our relationship with Jesus. The focus is not our life, but our life in Christ Jesus. For Jesus to be the center of our lives will not take anything away from our other relationships, but will continue to enhance. That’s the paradox.


The second series of sayings deal with the role of disciples because of our relationship with Jesus and how the disciple should be received and treated by others. The focus again is not who the disciple is in his/her own person, but who the disciple is in Christ Jesus. Those who receive, accept and provide for that disciple will be reared as if they were receiving, accepting and providing for Christ himself. “What you do to the least, you do to me.”


So we reflectively ask: Is Jesus in the center of our life or on the fringe or just one among many? Whatever is in the center controls the whole. So what is in the center of our life? What is in control? If it is Christ, then we will make different choices; we will see thing differently; we will value things differently. The crosses of our lives will not be stumbling blocks but ladders to climb closer to God, a bridge over trouble waters.


Reading 2: The focus is our identity in Christ and the effects of this identity.  Christ died for our sins. In baptism we too, in a sense, died to sin, the sin that alienated us from God. But as Jesus rose from the dead, in baptism, we too rose from the death of alienation to live a new life in Christ.  Something drastically happened. We became a new creature.


Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection and our death to sin, we too will rise with him at our death to the fullness of that new life we received in baptism. This is our faith. We are not to fear physical death because it has no power over us. We will pass from physical death to eternal life with God, if we live for God in Christ Jesus.


What should our response be to this gift of God? We are called to intentionally put aside the areas of sin in our life, which would prevent us from being with God eternally. This is a life-time process, but one that happens one act of love at a time.

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