Sunday, November 5, 2017

Imperfect Servants in Ministry

Today's Homily on these readings.
Micah 3:5-12      Psalm 43        1 Thessalonians 2:9-13           Matthew 23:1-12

Micah the prophet preached both judgement doom and salvation hope. Focusing on the powerful---he contends God holds them responsibly for the coming destruction of Israel and the suffering poor. In Micah 3 he declares that false prophets shape their message for money. They are like researchers who lie about product safety saying, “Peace, all is well" when it isn’t. Truth is relentless--- Samaria will fall; misled Israel will be exiled, disappearing into the mists of time forever.

Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Rome—in every age a different empire serves as the rod of God’s wrath. In our own age we will face another. Our church perverts her prophetic role as she embraces the culture at the loss of Gospel truth. We, too, fall to the temptation of seeking other gods than the Lord. Hearing Jesus judge hypocritical leaders, "don't do what they do," is worrisome. He still says, "but listen to their teaching." Their words are still true even if they are not true to their words.

Unfortunately, there will always be a gap between the truth we proclaim and the life we live; we must teach God’s truth even if we struggle to conform our lives to that Truth. Jesus makes clear, only God is truly Father and Teacher; yet, we have been commissioned by Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom of God as we teach, heal, exorcise and reconcile in His name… While it is terrifying to consider the high standard God has for us, we cannot refuse to proclaim the truth because we are afraid. We are also answerable for what we have left undone. Becoming holy--the work of theosis-- takes a life time. Take heart, teaching others actually helps us to learn. Speaking the words can change our own hearts. Jesus mercy is still to be trusted.

So, once more we are confronted: Will we commit to Jesus? Will we open to the Holy Spirit? Will we become a holy light shining for the world?

If our progress is slow, it is still progress! Fear not, Jesus has saved you, but if you are saved you are also sent—to do work in His name. The Holy Spirit has sanctified us, but we must also embrace the discipline of holiness each day. Remember we are all materially rich and spiritually powerful by the world’s standards. We have the Kingdom of God within us. We are personally connected to the Holy Three God.

The prophets shout: "Woe to the one who hoards his treasure and ignores the needy. Woe to the one who seeks her own salvation while others are lost in the wilderness. Blessed is the one who feeds hungry bellies and fills hungry souls. Blessed is the one who worships the Father and brings Jesus light those in the dark. Blessed are you who love and serve the Lord. Each of you. Blessed are you."

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