Homily 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year B - Gods Love, Promise and Law

Homily (Sermon) – Gods Love, Promise and Law

The Readings for Sunday 2nd September 2012  or the twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B:
Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8
Psalm 14
James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
[These readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks.]

The first five books of our bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy contain a loving promise. The promise of our Creator, the promise of God, the promise that He loves us and wants to be with us, to keep us safe and well. That promise became known as The Law, and it contained the wisdom and love of God.

The Law contained customs and commands, rules for living a good life. The Ten Commandments were part of the Law, part of the loving promise, part of the covenant between man and God. We can all to easily be drawn into thinking of the Law as just a set of rules, restrictions put in place to limit us. But you shouldn't look at the Law out of context, you can't hope to draw Gods wisdom from it unless you first understand that it's a gift from God, it's a huge warm hug from the the biggest softest pair of arms in  all creation.

If I told you that anything hot was bad and not to be approached, and that all objects with a shape edge can only transported at 3miles an hour or less, you would think this daft and restrictive. But have you ever told a small child not to go to near a fire or not to run with scissors. The instruction comes from love and is there to protect. It is the wisdom of a parent, and so is the Law that was given to Moses and then passed on by the people of Israel and Christ to us.

As Christ tells us today there are things within us that are opposed to the Law, our pride, envy and avarice to name just a few. They will try and drive our actions just as our love, compassion, kindness and faith drive our actions. We have a choice, sometimes it seems easy, sometimes it's very hard. Do we live our lives understanding and knowing that we are loved by God and trying always to please Him, to make Him proud. Or do we give into to the corrupted side of our nature, the selfishness we all have, the sin of the apple we have carried since Adam and Eve. Personally, I know I try and act as God would want me to act, but all to often I get selfish and do what seems best for me.

Once we have been selfish and given in to the weakness of sin we have another choice. We can own up to the mistake, say sorry and do our very best to make it right. We can look back at our actions and inactions and think about, pray about how to not make the same mistake again. Christ gave us the gift of saying sorry, He forgave us, God knows what we are and still loves us, He made sure through the sacrifice and suffering of His own Son, Jesus Christ, that we could say sorry and be forgiven.

The other side of the choice though, might be to not admit our wrong, to justify our actions, to hide in a legalistic debate with ourselves and our peers. We can twist and turn the words of scripture to make our wrong actions seem right in the letter of the Law. We can, as the Pharisees did, pay lip service to the Law and reduce Gods promise, Gods Love to just a book of human regulations.

As followers of Christ, we have to look hard at ourselves. We should reflect daily on our actions. We should say sorry to those we hurt and make good, and remember every time we let someone down we also let God down so we should say sorry to him as well. Our prayer life, our  liturgy and our sacraments all give us an opportunity to say sorry to God, please use them.

Live your life with love, kindness and charity for all those around you. Remember to be loving and kind to yourself as well, but not at the cost of others. Seek out those less fortunate than yourself, don't wait for them to find you they may not be able to. James tells us to help orphans and widows, in today's world there are many more we can also help. James also tell us to keep ourselves uncontaminated by the world. This is great advice, but so, so difficult. Our modern, mad and selfish world offers us everything we want instantly, the cost not to be worried about you can pay for it later. Take it now, because you are worth it.

God loves you now, because you are worth it. He has given you his Love, He has given you His Life, He has given you His forgiveness and He has Given you His Law, a promise that you and He can be together, always.

Last weeks Homily 21st Sunday - Homily Index

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