Saturday 3 September 2011

Twenty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

The scripture readings for this Sunday give us an insight into how we might deal with our lives in relation to one another that most of us find delicate ad difficult to deal with. We learn that christian love is not a feeling or an emotion but a responsibility. Am I my brothers keeper? Do I have a responsibility for the behaviour of others in my family, community, workplace? Scripture tells us that we do and that is where the discomfort begins. How then do I address how others are wronging me or others. How do we as a christian community deal with the reality of sin and lovingly lead others to a greater sense of self and the freedoms that can emerge when we seek to be converted. Prepapring my homily for tomorrows eucharist, the following quotes have helped me.

"If anyone tells you that one mistake put you at risk of losing God’s and our friendship and you believe it, then you will inevitably define yourself as a sinner … If religion tells you that even angry and lustful thoughts are sinful then you will come to think of yourselves as sinner … By that definition and by that approach everyone one of us does something wrong probably every day and we’ll never make it. If nothing short of purity and perfection permits us to stand together before the throne of God, then none of us ever will.

But when religion teaches us that God loves the wounded soul, the chastised soul, that out of experience has learned something about its own fallibility and its own limitations, when religion teaches us to stand together in those experiences, when religion teaches us that being human is a complicated challenge and that all of us will make mistakes in the process of learning how to do it right and that we need to stand together in that process, then we become participants in a wonderful adventure. Our mistakes are no longer emblems of our unworthiness, but invitations to grow. We will be brave enough to live and to share the life."

Harold S. Kushner, How good do we have to be

Protect us, Lord, from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope … “
Roman Missal, Communion Rite

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