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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
There were two neighbors in the countryside. One neighbor, one night, saw that the other neighbor’s horse had gotten past the fence. It was wandering on the street and so, the first neighbor took the second neighbor’s horse to the pound and told that second neighbor, later on in the day, “I found your horse, and I took the horse to the pound, and I’ll do it again if I find your horse wandering aimlessly on the street.”
The second neighbor, said to the first neighbor, “A few nights ago, your cattle were in my yard eating my crops. I rounded up the cattle and brought them back to your yard, and I quietly closed the gate, so that I wouldn’t wake you while you were sleeping with your family, and I’ll do it again if I find your cattle in my yard.”
I like that little story. The story goes on to say, that the first neighbor actually went to the pen and paid the fine to get the horse out of the pen and bring him back to his neighbor. That story goes on to say, how do we treat our neighbors? How do we treat our brothers and sisters? How do we treat our own family? How do we love our brothers and sisters?
It’s a great reminder that we really do have options every time we engage our brothers and sisters. We have options, just like those two neighbors had options. Undergirding all that Jesus taught, undergirding all that Jesus invited his followers to live out, is a deep and powerful sense and call to humility, for we cannot forgive, if we’re not humble.
We cannot love, if we’re not humble. We cannot pray for our persecutors, if we don’t live a dynamic sense of humility in our own lives. What is humility? It’s just not putting ourselves first, not believing that myth, that we are the most important people in the whole wide world. Sometimes, we find ourselves believing that myth.
Are we made in God’s image and likeness? Yes. Does God love us deeply? Yes. Are we the most important people in the whole wide world? Well, humility means that we consistently and generously in the healthy way, really tend to and love our brothers and sisters all around us and sometimes even put them first.
Sisters and brothers, this powerful invitation invites us to go beyond our comfort zone, go beyond what seems even normal, to love and forgive, not to condemn, not to persecute, but really, to engage our brothers and sisters in life giving ways. We have a choice, we have a choice. As we see in the gospel today, may we make the choice of humility, generosity and love with our brothers and sisters, without neighbors, as Jesus lived and taught us.
1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Chicago in the congregation.
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