Frj82’s Blog

September 14, 2010

Feast of Brotherly Love

Filed under: Sermons — frj82 @ 8:01 pm

My sermon preached at 7:30am, 9:00am, and 10:30am Holy Mass at St. Stanislaus Cathedral.  Give or take some influence of the Holy Spirit; no one can preach entirely from text.

“Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” These words are taken from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke. +++ As we celebrate the Solemnity of Brotherly Love across the entire Polish National Catholic Church on ever second Sunday of September, we have to remind ourselves of what is meant by brotherly love. For those of you that have a brother or sister, it is easier to understand. We know that there are different kinds of love. Without mentioning the traditional Greek words for love, it is understood that the love you have for your husband or wife, your child, your best friend, your brother or sister, or for Maroni’s pizza are all different kinds of love…but still very much love.

The love that we have for Christians should manifest itself in many ways…sometimes maybe even out of the ordinary. We know because we are told often as a penance for our sins to do a good deed for a neighbor. By doing this deed, we complete the act of penance. And who is our neighbor? Jesus answers this question better than anyone before him or since…in the form of a parable. What Jesus did with this parable was making the least-respected and often vilified Samaritan the role of the moral hero…showing the people gathered, and especially the lawyer, that someone not as educated or from the same background must still be regarded highly.

When asked by Jesus what the law states, that lawyer replies “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus agrees and goes on to explain the parable to him, opening his mind to the possibility that being among the chosen doesn’t necessarily make it easy to enter the kingdom of God.

As Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan, so we have the parable living in our lives today. It is no secret since September 11th, 2001 that things in this country have changed, and not for the better. Security measures have been tightened, travel has become more difficult, and the overall view of anyone from the Middle East has gone from “eyebrows slightly raised” to “eyebrows fully furrowed.” Yes, it is because those awful attacks were done by people of Middle-Eastern descent. I was in college at the time, and the mood and temperament for those few days is scary to think about. As a university that hosted many international students, a beating of two boys from India just outside their dorm was never prosecuted…and India has nothing to do with Iraq or Afghanistan or the Taliban or whoever. Simple skin-color judgment.

Things like that often impassion other late teen-early twenty-something’s, but everyone was still in shock. No typical college protest or anything like that. We have today a true idiot in every sense of the word promoting a “burn the Quran” day. Short-sighted in that it promotes so many ill feelings towards Muslim people…which in turn will humanly be reciprocated. Its short-sighted in that once it became known, it took on a new life, spreading across newspapers and TV & computer screens everywhere. And it is short sighted as we are still, like it or lump it, are fighting a war in the Middle East. As we try to promote peace in their land, how can they take us seriously when all they hear from our land is “burn a Quran” day. Certainly pure outrage, as we would have if their national craze became “burn a bible day.”

My brothers and sister, we sometimes answer questions by explaining what the answer most certainly isn’t. And what this so called “pastor” (defined as a shepherd to his people) is not doing is the job of a Christian. The job of every Christian is to live and promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of peace and love, to all creation.

While I am thoroughly disgusted by all of this, not the least bit surprised. We got to see this guys face and hear his rationale all week…and we certainly aren’t better for it. Unless we go back a bit and see that what he did most certainly is the explanation of how not t be a Christian. It is there that we can see for ourselves what kind of love it takes to overcome those obstacles that impede the glorifying of God’s church. As we celebrate today Brotherly Love, keep in mind that Jesus Christ had to go through many people who tried to trip him up as he promoted peace and love to everyone…be it lawyers or Pharisees or priests or whomever. He did it all for us, to pave the way for us to get to heaven. We are not capable of that perfect love Jesus has for everyone, but our type is good enough for him. Live and promote Jesus’ gospel today, turn your nose at those who don’t, and be at peace knowing you are living by his holy will. Amen.

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