Thursday, December 15, 2016

Homily for 16 Dec 2016

16 Dec 2016

Being a disciple of Christ is really a great privilege.  It’s a powerful thing when you realize that we’re meant to be messengers of God.  And some people really take that and they go with it, and they become very public preachers of the gospel.  Most of us, however, are messengers of God in more private settings—in our families, in the parish, maybe with co-workers. 

But, regardless of however we are messengers of God, there’s always the temptation to lose sight of the fact that we’re messengers of God, not messengers of ourselves.  Maybe that’s why Jesus “does not accept testimony from a human being;” because he knows we sometimes forget about God, even when we think we’re doing God’s work.

I imagine we’ve all come across someone who’s such a strong supporter of God that they’ll rip you to shreds if you disagree with them.  God wants us to be zealous about the Lord and his mission, but that’s just it: He wants us to be a messenger of God, not a messenger of ourselves.  And that’s a tough one.  It isn’t enough to just talk about Jesus, and try to do what’s right and just.  It really takes work to make sure we’re actually bringing Christ to others.

And so, it’s helpful to really study up on Jesus: Who is he, what’s he about, what did he really say, what did he really mean?  And then, about the time we think we have it figured out, step back and pray about it with all humility.  After all, the “Jews” forgot what God was really about, and so they couldn’t even recognize God standing right in front of them.

Saint Paul wasn’t the first one to go preaching about the Gentiles; it was already there in the Old Testament.  We heard about it in the prophet Isaiah today.  But the people of God forgot; the “Jews” forgot what God’s message really was when it came to the Gentiles, to the foreigners.  And so, they couldn’t very well put God’s plan into action; they could only put their own plan in place.  That’s what we want to avoid as messengers of Christ.

Being a disciple of Christ is really a great privilege.  But it carries the responsibility of making sure that the message we bring to others really is Christ’s, and not our own.  It’s a responsibility, but one we gladly take on, because being a disciple of Christ isn’t only a privilege; it’s a pleasure and a joy.

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