Homily

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE. THANK YOU MARY FOR INVITING ME TO SPEAK AND THANK YOU ALL FOR SO POLITELY ACCEPTING HER CHOICE AND NOT PROTESTING.

WE ARE CELEBRATING THE MESSAGE OF TODAY'S READINGS AND MANY OTHER MESSAGES.

IN THE FIRST READING GOD'S SPIRIT IS SHARED WITH THE 70 ELDERS WHO WERE WITH MOSES. IN THE MEAN TIME BACK IN THE COMMUNITY A COUPLE OF OTHER GUYS BEGIN PROPHESING. WHEN THE ORIGINAL 70 HEAR OF THIS, THEY ASK MOSES TO STOP THEM. TO WHICH MOSES REPLY'S "WOULD THAT ALL THE POPLE OF THE LORD WERE PROPHETS! WOULD THAT THE LORD MIGHT BESTOW HIS SPIRIT ON THEM ALL."

LET ME PARAPHRASE THIS STORY AND IN PLACE OF THE ELDERS WE HAVE THE HIERARCHY OF THE CHURCH AND INSTEAD OF MOSES WE HAVE THE POPE. THE HIERARCHY GETS WIND OF BISHOPS ORDAINING WOMAN AND THEY RUN TO THE POPE AND SAY STOP THEM! TO WHICH THE POPE RESPONDS, "YOU KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT. IF WE ALLOW THINGS LIKE THIS TO GO ON EVERYONE WILL BEGIN TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF LOVE AND JUSTICE AND WE WILL LOSE

CONTROL."

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NOW WHICH RESPONSE DO YOU THINK IS CLOSER TO THE WILL OF THE LORD?

THE SECOND READING GIVES US THAT ANSWER. "JOHN SAID TO JESUS 'TEACHER WE SAW SOMEONE DRIVING OUT DEMONS IN YOUR NAME, AND WE TRIED TO PREVENT HIM BECAUSE HE DOES NOT FOLLOW US.' JESUS REPLIED, 'DO NOT PREVENT HIM...FOR WHOEVER IS NOT AGAINST US IS FOR US."

WITH THAT KIND OF THINKING IT WOULD NOT BE LONG AND WE ALL WOULD BE ONE. DO YOU THINK THAT IS WHAT GOD WANTS?

PROBABLY SO.

TAKING THE WHOLE READING AS ONE MESSAGE YOU MIGHT ASK WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND PART.

THE SECOND PART IN SHORT IS SAYING IF WE LIMIT THE RIGHT OF ALL TO SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS AND THEREBY CAUSE "ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME TO SIN.." IT'S NOT GOING TO BE TOO GOOD FOR THOSE WHO DO THIS, BASICALLY THEY ARE GOING TO GEHENNA OR POPULARLY REFERRED TO AS HELL.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN CAUSING ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES TO SIN. WHAT IS SIN? IN TODAY'S CHURCH, ALL DENOMINATIONS, WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT SIN, OFENDING GOD, ABANDONING GOD, SINNING AND THE PUNISHMENT THAT WILL FOLLOW ON OUR HEALS IF WE DO

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NOT REPENT. THIS IS THE CHURCH OF HUMANS. IT IS A MESSAGE OF FEAR. UNLESS YOU FOLLOW US, YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED.

THAT MESSAGE HAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT ROLE. IT IS THERE TO KEEP EVERYONE IN LINE. BUT IS THAT THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST. IS THAT MESSAGE THEOLOGICALLY SOUND?

FIRST, IF GOD IS ALL POWERFUL, INFINITE AND LOVING, HOW CAN MERE FINITE BEINGS AS OURSELVES OFFEND GOD? IF GOD IS ALL LOVING, HOW CAN GOD PUNISH US? I DO NOT THINK EITHER ARE POSSIBLE. FIRST, WE CANNOT OFFEND GOD. SECOND, GOD DOES NOT PUNISH US.

WELL IF THAT IS THE CASE, THAN WHAT IS HELL ALL ABOUT? IF YOU UNDERSTAND GOD'S LOVE, YOU UNDERSTAND HELL. GOD IS ALWAYS LOVING. SIN IS NOT AN OFFENSE AGAINST GOD, IT IS AN OFFENSE AGAINST OURSELVES. SIN IS OUR EXERCISING OUR FREE WILL. WE WILL NOT TO BE LOVED. SO "WHOEVER CAUSES ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME TO..." REJECT MY LOVE. "IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR HIM IF A GREAT MILLSTONE WERE PUT AROUND HIS NECK AND HE WERE THROWN INTO THE SEA."

WHAT DID CHRIST SAY, IF YOU DO NOT BECOME LIKE THESE, CHILDREN YOU CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. AND WHAT IS IT TO BECOME LIKE CHILDREN. MY WIFE AND I TOOK ON A

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GREAT MISSION IN OUR OLD AGE, WE ADOPTED A CHILD, 3 MONTHS OLD. IT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST GIFT BESTOWED ON US. BECAUSE OF MY AGE I WAS MORE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE REALITY THAT I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO RAISE A CHILD. SO I ACCEPTED THE FACT THAT ALL I COULD DO WAS LISTEN AND LOVE. AND THAT CHILD IS STILL TEACHING ME ALL THE MANY WAYS I CAN LOVE AS WELL AS ACCEPTING THAT LOVE. CHILDREN ARE HELPLESS. THEY CANNOT DO MUCH EXCEPT BE LOVED AND REVEL IN THAT LOVE. AND ANYONE WHO DESTROYS THIS BY PUTTING THE FEAR OF THE LORD IN THEIR HEARTS SO THEY ARE AFRAID TO ACCEPT LOVE, THAT PERSON OR CHURCH IS NOT IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE CREATOR OF LOVE.

SO IF WE DO NOT, LIKE CHILDREN, CONSTATNTLY SEARCH OUT WAYS IN WHICH GOD IS LOVING US AND ACCEPT THIS LOVE, WE CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. TO CAUSE ONE OF THESE LITLLE ONES TO SIN IS TO CAUSE THEM TO STOP ACCEPTING GOD'S LOVE.

GOD'S LOVE IS DESCRIBED BY THE MYSTICS AS AN ALL CONSUMING FIRE. WHEN WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE LOVED, WE BECOME ONE WITH THAT FLAME OF LOVE. WHEN WE REFUSE TO BE LOVED AND REJECT THAT LOVE WE LIVE IN THE MIDST OF THIS ALL CONSUMING LOVE WITHOUT BEING CONSUMED BY IT. AND IF WE DIE IN THAT STATE, WE SPEND ETERNITY KNOWINGLY LIVING IN THE MIDST OF THE ALL CONSUMING LOVE WITHOUT BEING CONSUMED. AND THAT

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IS HELL.

GOD HAS ONLY DONE ONE THING FOR US - GOD LOVES US. IT IS UP TO US TO BE LOVED. THAT IS NOT AN EASY TASK. IT IS EASIER TO LOVE THAN TO BE LOVED. WHEN CHRIST WAS ASKED WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT, HE SAID TO LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS AND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS OURSELVES. SOUNDS SIMPLE BUT WE FORGET THE KEY TO THIS MESSAGE , TO LOVE AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. CHARITY TOO OFTEN BECOMES AN ACT OF AGGRESSION. IT TOO OFTEN IS AN IMPOSITION OF OUR NEED TO CONTROL UPON ANOTHER. IF CHARITY DOES NOT ALLOW THE OTHER TO LOVE US THAN IT IS NOT CHARITY.

LET ME STOP THERE. THE MESSAGE OF TODAYS READINGS IS ABOUT THE NEED TO HAVE PROPHETS TO PROPHESY THE PRESENCE OF GOD'S LOVE AMONG US. IT IS NOT A NEED TO GET EVERYONE IN LINE, FEARING THE LORD, FOLLOWING THE RULES THAT WE SET DOWN AS AN INSURANCE POLICY FOR GAINING ETERNAL HAPPINESS. IT IS A MESSAGE THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS ALREADY HERE. GOD LOVES YOU. GOD LOVES ME. WE ARE SURROUNDED BY GOD'S LOVE. THE MESSAGE FOR WHICH WE NEED MESSENGERS IS TO ACCEPT THIS LOVE IN ALL THE FORMS IN WHICH IT COMES. IT IS NOT A MESSAGE OF FEAR. IT IS NOT A MESSAGE OF CONTROL. IT IS A MESSAGE THAT WE MUST PASSIVELY GIVE UP OUR NEED TO

CONTROL AND ACCEPT LOVE. ONCE WE DO THAT, WE LEARN HOW TO

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BE JUST, HOW TO ACCEPT DIFFERENCE, HOW TO BE IN WONDERMENT OF THE UNIVERSALITY OF DIFFERENCE.

BUT TOO OFTEN LIKE THE ELDERS WITH MOSES AND THE DISCIPLES WITH CHRIST, WE WANT CONTROL. IF EVERYONE SPREADS THE GOOD NEWS HOW DO WE CONTROL THINGS. TODAY WE ARE CELEBRATING THE CALL TO ALL TO BE PHOPHETS. THERE IS NO NEED TO POINT FINGERS AT THOSE WHO REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST MESSAGE. TO DO SO IS TO BE LIKE THEM.

BUT MORE SIGNIFICANTLY WE ARE CELEBRATING A PROPHESY THAT IS NOT ONLY A MESSAGE TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD THAT GOD LOVES THEM BUT BY ORDAINING A WOMAN WE ARE PROPHESING TO THE CHURCH TO CAST OFF IT FEAR AND TO ACCEPT ALL PROPHETS. THE ORDINATION OF WOMAN BEYOND THE CALL TO SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS IT CHALENGES THE INSTITUTIONS AND PARTICULARLY THE CHURCH TO ACCEPT THE UNIVERSALITY OF GOD'S AND GOD'S WILL TO ALLOW EVEN THOSE WHO WERE NOT AT THE FIRST MEETING TO PARTNER WITH THEM IS SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS. IT IS NOT EASY TO BE A PHOPHET. YOU HAVE TO STAND UP TO THE STATUS QUO AND AT THE SAME TIME MAINTAIN AN UNQUENCHALBE LOVE AND DESIRE TO BE ONE IN LOVE WITH THOSE WHO SAY NO.

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