Act Like Christ

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on August 30, 1987

Readings: Jeremiah 20: 7-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16: 21-27

In today’s Gospel, Jesus rebukes Peter and tells him to “Get out of my sight, satan!” Like Peter, the Church, and all of us, will stray from God.  We must return to the will of God, knowing that Jesus will be with us through the turmoil.  Indeed, Jesus already knows that we will be human.  That is, weak and sometimes even cowardly.  And yet, Jesus is with us. We are told of Father Antoine Adrien and his courage in standing up for the poor of Haiti as well as the ways that the Church has failed to serve the people of Haiti.  Like Peter, we, the Church, are both courageous and incredibly weak at other times. In each of those times, Jesus is with us; sometimes encouraging us and sometimes scolding us, but always as a means of reminding us to follow His ways, regardless what that means for our journey.

5th Sunday of Lent

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Readings: Ezekial 37:12-14, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45

Originally delivered on March 28, 1993

In this Gospel of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus is speaking to us in his encounter with Martha, that we are givers and takers of life. Perhaps, we are being challenged today to be there to help our sisters and brothers in need. It is our responsibility, as Christians, to breathe new life into others. The priorities of the Gospel must be our priorities in life.  Current events call us to be moved to tears, as Jesus was, and then to act on behalf of the poor and marginalized.  The shame of our past silence and the guilt of our past conspiracies, demand of us that we take the place of Jesus to be bearers of life, where people are free and live without oppression. We must involve ourselves in others’ struggles, just as Jesus did with Martha.