23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
So in the Gospel of Luke here this Sunday, we’re about halfway through Jesus’s ministries. So he’s been doing some preaching, some healing. And he makes his way now south to Jerusalem for, of course, his death and resurrection. And he gives a few parables along the way. So we have the parable, of course, this weekend. Next weekend I think we’re gonna get the Prodigal Son. The previous weekend he gave the parable about being unrighteous and unworthy a steward. That’s gonna be in a couple weeks. So here we are. Jesus gives some parables about being prepared, or having the proper expectations. So “If you’re gonna be a disciple of mine,” our Lord says, “You have to take up your cross and follow me.” That is the life of a Christian, the cross. We can not think of ourselves as followers of Jesus without having the cross a part of our lives. Now again, we’ve heard about the cross so many times. And to me, what’s interesting is, none of the disciples leave after this. They’re still united to Christ. They’ll leave when he gives the Bread of Life Discourse, but they won’t leave after this when Jesus says, “You have to hate your mother and father, “and your brothers and sisters in order to follow me. “And you have to take up your cross and be my disciple.” The cross doesn’t scandalize people. So why is that? Why is the cross, in a way, attractive in our faith? All right so if you think about the cross, the crucifixion, it entails suffering, of course, but suffering on both a physical and then on a psychological, spiritual, moral, emotional level, okay? So someone dying on the cross, they’re bleeding, they’ve got holes in their hands, and they’re feet. They’re suffocating. The physical pain is evident. All right, but there’s also a psychological pain with this form of death. You’re humiliated, you’re hanging up there naked, people are looking at you, they’re mocking you. It’s a period of time. It’s not just like being given a legal injection and you’re dead. You’re hanging on the cross for hours, maybe even days, okay? So there’s an emotional suffering that’s going on, okay? So as a Christian, we’re gonna maybe have some physical suffering. Maybe there are some of you out there that can experience this, that can relate. Bum knee of whatever, bad back, okay? That’s part of being a disciple. But also the psychological suffering. And to me, this is what’s beautiful about the cross. If we’re gonna be a real disciple of Jesus, we have to bring him the things that cause us pain because we all have pain in our life, okay? Maybe there’s a wound from our past, a relationship that’s broken, something that gives us discomfort or disease in our life, okay? To be Christian, what Jesus says is, “I want you to bring that suffering to me, “that psychological pain that you have “and I’ll heal it.” Remember, our story doesn’t end with Good Friday with Easter Sunday. So that’s why the cross is a beautiful aspect of our faith. And if we can bring Christ our physical and our spiritual sufferings, we’ll experience ultimate fulfillment in our life. Amen.
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
A special thank you this week to our friends from the St. Juliana Parish , Chicago in the congregation.
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