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Homily - 1" February, 2015 - Fourth Sunday of the Year, B

posted 30 Jan 2015, 07:34 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 00:44 by Jerry Laidler ]
H.B. & Hw.

"After Commentary by John Udris, Pastoral Review, Jan/Feb., 2009 "

Great teachers are in the business of setting people free.

Great teachers are in the business of emancipation. And Jesus is the greatest. Jesus Christ sets us free from our narcissistic ego. He sets us free to be our true selves, the `who' we are meant to be, made in the image and likeness of God, body and spirit. Jesus, after all, reveals in his person, "the 'Thou' before whom our utmost `I' springs into awareness. Jesus shows us the `I Am' before whom we echo "I am".
(New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 13 - Thomas Merton)

So if our religion gives us an inferiority complex, a guilt complex or any other kind of negative mentality, outlook or philosophy, we must know we have it wrong by virtue of misunderstanding or wrong-headed teaching. We need to sit at the feet of the Master and listen carefully to what he is saying. When we really hear the Lord, a new mind dawns, new horizons open up and new possibilities are put within our reach. All positive.

Under the influence of the Lord we begin to form a new mind and we feel a new confidence. So if our religion makes us feel second rate, inadequate and always catching up, we are getting or being given the wrong message. It's nothing to do with the Gospel. It has nothing to do with Jesus' Good News. No; Jesus' word makes us come alive. And Jesus teaches with authority.

Jesus always, always, always sets us free, with the freedom of the children of God.

St. Paul follows his Master. He says to us, for example, "I would like to see you free from all worry." And Paul says to us, "I say this only to help you, not to put a halter round your necks." (1 Cor. 7.32-35) His teaching is helping us to reach the freedom of the now "to the measure of the full stature of Christ." (Eph. 4.13)

Paul's priority in all this is unity. Hardly surprising, unity is God's first priority too. There is only one God! One being. One 'who'. Our God-given gifts serve that unity which alone makes for health and vigour, life and freedom reality is to be sought, not in division but in unity for we are "members one of another".

Communion and community throughout the universe is the divine intention. Division and disunity is death and destruction of every person, place and thing, from the split personality to the split atom, and world war.
Communion is our calling whatever our vocation. This teaching liberates our minds. This teaching sets our hearts on fire. This teaching sets us free.

"Greatness lies in making others feel great", says G.K.Chesterton. So Jesus is the greatest and Paul and Moses are great teachers, Paul after the Lord and Moses in preparation for the Lord. Their teaching is christened.

All about Christ. Jesus' disciple, Paul, and Moses his forefather in faith, set people free. "Let my people go," Moses says to Pharaoh. That refrain echoes throughout Jesus' ministry. To the evil spirit dogging our humanity, Jesus says, "Get out!" "Come out of him". And "Don't be childish in your thinking, " Paul says to us all. Be mature with the wisdom of the Lord. The Lord's wisdom not ours.

So Moses, under God, frees from physical bondage, Christ frees from possession by evil and Paul from made­ up minds. Great teachers are in the business of emancipation and Jesus is certainly the greatest; truth to tell, Jesus is the only teacher. In him, through him, with him we truly are free spirits, free to be all we are meant to be, Happy and glorious!