July 15th: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
Jesus sends his disciples out to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God.
These disciples were every day people. Nothing special about them. Jesus tells them to carry little luggage and to just proclaim the word and then move on. If people accept the word great, if they don’t, leave quickly, but bring the word of God to the next village. All of this goes very much against the standard procedures of our information age.
Standard procedure of our time is to get a test sampling of what people believe or want to believe and then deal with that as a truth. Fox News, USA Today, CNN polls, Gallup polls, all tell us what they feel the majority is thinking and then treat it as though this were a truth. For example, a number of years ago a rather faulty sampling of Catholics was taken and printed by “a study” saying that the vast majority of Catholics do not believe in the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. We doubt the credibility of the study, but we are deeply disturbed by the concept that Catholics should determine their faith and morals by what the majority of people is believing or doing. The truth is not dependent on the people to whom it is addressed. The truth is dependent on the fidelity of the proclaimer to the message received by God.
There was a time in history that two thirds of the Church questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ. That was the time of the Arian heresy. Two thirds of the church! The numbers still didn’t make the Arians correct. The truth always wins. The Arians are forgotten, buried in history and the Church lives on believing in the divinity of Christ.
We have all met people who tell you that things have changed. Certain things which were seen as immoral before are not immoral now. Some people who tell you that it is OK for people to live together if they are not married, it is OK for people to use certain drugs, it is OK for people to ignore their responsibility to bring their children to the Eucharist on a regular basis etc. Their message is that everyone accepts this or that new way of living. They do not want to hear someone telling them that the majority does not determine the truth. They do not want to hear the preaching of Jesus if it goes against their desires in life.
Faced with this, the temptation we have is to keep quiet, not make waves and just let things slide. Like Amos, we can all claim: “We don’t need this. Let the priests talk about morals and attempt to practice them. I’m just an everday person.”
But then we read scripture. We read the readings for this Sunday. The readings today tell us that we do not have the right to walk away from our responsibilities to the Truth. We have to stand for the truth of the Lord, whether it is popular or not, whether it is convenient or not. We have all received the mandate of Jesus to go out and proclaim his Word. Today we pray for the courage to proclaim the truth at work, in our neighborhoods and in our families. (www.frjhomilies.com)
God bless you,
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG