A HOMILY FOR THE TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “B” – JUNE 10TH, 2018 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
I suppose that all of us need help, need advice, need examples, when it comes to staying the course, and staying strong, and staying committed to just about everything that we do. When we want that advice to stay strong physically, we seek the help of a coach or a trainer or a doctor, someone who can help us get stronger and stay stronger physically. When we want to get stronger in knowledge, we seek out a class, or a teacher, or a tutor or mentor. Still, it is not always easy, and we need all the help we can get. When we need help building something, or making something that we’ve never made before, it is easy for us to call on a builder, or someone who has done what we are wanting or attempting to do now. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out a role model, or a little help, or someone that knows more that we do, about a given topic. In 2018, nobody can be an expert at everything!
On a personal note, I had to do this, this past week, with our cable system at the Rectory. Who knew that TV could be so complicated? Remember the day, when you plugged the TV and hooked the cable up to the wall, and watched TV? Those days are long gone. With the new priests getting ready to move in, and getting their rooms ready, I had to have the help of not one, but two different friends, who know a whole lot more about technology than I do, help me out. Now there’s boxes and signals and remotes, and Wi-Fi, and Netflix, and Amazon Prime, and YouTube TV, and all sorts of things you pay for and some things that are free. I don’t even know what half of those things are! And now, of course, it is all connected to your internet and your wireless, so now the TV, just like the phone, and the car, and the clock, are all smarter than I am. Sometimes you just need some help.
This is also true of our spiritual lives. We need a role model. We need an example. We need to be safely led through this world, back to God! These are difficult day in which to try and follow Jesus! This is not anything new. It was difficult two-thousand years ago, and it has always been a challenge to live the Christian life. As we hear today, it was even difficult for Jesus! He goes home, and his own relatives think that He is out of His mind. And then the Scribes show up from Jerusalem, and they say that He is possessed by Beelzebul. What a nice welcome home! Everybody thinks something is wrong with Him. And yet, Jesus is our example, our role model!
Today, Jesus uses this occasion to offer a teaching on building a strong, spiritual house, that can withstand anything, and that united will be able to stay strong again anything. Today He is acting as our Guide! He teaches us that a divided house cannot last. Are we a divided house? Are we trying to live for God and for this world all at the same time? It won’t work. I think we already know it doesn’t work. You cannot follow Christ and follow this world at the same time. Jesus knew that better than most, and He wasn’t shy about sharing that breaking news with all of us. Going through the motions of Faith and religion, while still living based on the values and priorities of this world, is NOT going to get you to Heaven. Today, we need to open our hearts, our minds, and our lives to the power of His way, and His priorities. Jesus’s way
is different, and it is challenging! But it is not impossible. In fact, His way works very well right now. All we have to do is give it a chance! This week, let Jesus prove to you that His way works better! We can have smart cars, and smart TV’s, and smart phones, but let us be smart, when it comes to our Faith. Put your trust in Jesus!
And then, of course, there’s this scene at the end of this Gospel text from St. Mark, when Jesus’ mother and brothers and sisters show up. Word must have gotten around that Jesus was home, and so the whole family shows up. Now, remember, the Hebrew language doesn’t differentiate between the words for brothers and sisters, cousins, close friends, nieces and nephews, and all sorts of other relatives. So Mary is there with several other relatives. And the word “brothers” could also designate the Apostles. So Mary is there with a bunch of other people who are very close to Jesus. And at first, Jesus doesn’t get up and run to meet them. And we might think, well, that’s pretty disrespectful. What about that whole Fourth Commandment thing about honoring your Father and Mother? Jesus uses even this situation, to further teach us, about role models, and examples, and the help that we need for the Christian life. He says that everyone who does the Will of God, is mother, and brother, and sister to Him. He’s not being disrespectful. Mary, and to a lesser extent the Apostles, are the primary examples that we have of doing the Will of God. We should want to be like them! Most especially, Mary is that primary example of the model Christian! Mary so followed the Will of God that God came alive inside of her! She is a great place for us to turn to, when we need guidance, when we need help, when we need to be stronger. Jesus isn’t neglecting His Mother, or brothers or sisters. Instead, He is inviting, and reminding all of us, that we are to be like them. We too are to serve the Will of God in our lives.
It might make people think that we are crazy. It might make us seem radically different from others. It might even make people think that we are possessed! But following and doing the Will of God in our lives, is exactly the help, and the good advice, and the good example, that we all need, to stay strong in our Faith, and to fight the Devil and His lies.
Let us trust in that. And let us use that advice, every day!
+ May God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!