The values of our world are quite different than those of Jesus. The world tells us if we really want to get somewhere in society, we had better comply with the dictates of this world. We need to wear designer clothes, wine and dine the wealthy. Jesus tells us that we should pay attention to the poor and the weak, the powerless and the outcasts. Jesus tells us to invite them into our lives.
It was the observance of regulations that the Pharisees and Scribes regarded as religion. No wonder they could not understand Jesus! There is nothing more trying than to be under constant and critical scrutiny. Yet Jesus remained serene. Here we once again have Jesus supreme criterion for right or wrong. How does the action affect people? Does it help them or hurt them? Does it better or make worse their condition?
The main message of the preaching of Jesus is that God loves us. All his messages, all his actions speak to us of a God who loves. He cared for the people who were like sheep without a shepherd. He fed the hungry, he forgave sins, he simply loved.
Saints Simon and Jude –
All of us here this morning are called in some way to be apostles – followers of Jesus. We are sent with each new day to be his presence. Are there times when we make it difficult for others to see Jesus in us? We are called to be his ambassadors but how do we represent him through the course of a day.
Luke is making noticeably clear the imperfections that one will find in the Kingdom of God. Jesus turns over old expectations of what pure and noble religion is. This king is born in a Bethlehem stable, not a Jerusalem palace. This king enters Jerusalem on a donkey, not a chariot pulled by horses. This king finally claims his throne hanging on a cross. It may not look like some people’s idea of God, but in faith we trust this is the Kingdom of God.
The lesson in this Gospel story is all about priorities and God’s work. We should worship and attend to the rites of worship but sometimes we become more perturbed over formal correctness and change than the crying needs of others around us.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time –
Sometimes love asks us to put aside our own dreams for those we love in order to enable them to realize their own dreams; love can demand that we swallow our own disappointments and hurts in order to forgive, to support, to lift up; love can require us to check our own pain in order to alleviate another’s hurt. That is exactly the way God loves us: always ready to forgive and restore and welcome us back.
St. Anthony Mary Claret –
We don’t have too much space to criticize the people of that first century. The blessings of life are a matter of gift, gifts from God which, in turn, we share with others. Blessings are given to us that we might enjoy them but also that we might use them in service to and for others. With every blessing and privilege, there is a responsibility.
St. John of Capistrano –
Are we aware of the presence or the absence of God in our midst? When we observe bullying in leaders which is not of God, we are called upon to speak out. When we see despair in the lives of others, we are challenged to provide comfort. When we encounter those weak in their faith, we must share the gospel message of hope. Are we tuned in to the presence or absence of God and what are we doing about it?
St. John Paul II –
The fire that Jesus speaks of is humble, selfless love: love that can transform our world and us. We pray today that we may be transformed in the “fire” of God’s selfless love. We need to take on the “risks” of living our baptisms so that we may be sources of healing and the means of peace in our communities.