Browsing Homilies

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 | Ps 103 | 1 Cor 15:45-49 | Lk 6:27-38

The mercy of God is sheer gift. Mercy flows from the heart of God, from the beauty of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. Mercy is abundant and true. Mercy invites liberation from the past and healing of sin. Mercy is medicine for the soul and hope for every human being. Mercy invites us into the depth of our relationship with Christ. Mercy reminds us that God’s care is eternal; it is grace for every unfortunate action and for every human sin.

There are days, days when even though we so desire God’s mercy and tender care. We are also afraid of such love: afraid to receive such care from God because we know we feel unworthy of such a profound gift. You and I tend to feel the need to somehow control God’s glance at us. God’s love isn’t always easy to accept in our brokenness.

Mercy, too, isn’t earned. It’s not just for the privileged or the well-deserving. Mercy is not to be bartered. It is not a commodity. Rather, mercy is love manifest in our lives from God alone.

Mercy is also a new vision for how we live. In fact, the love and forgiveness of God allows us to live beyond the norms of our culture. It invites us to give away a second coat, scarf, or hat. Mercy invites us to listen again to someone who seems against us; perhaps, turning a cheek for a second chance.

Mercy invites us to walk with a prisoner, or an addict, even a sex offender: all in hope that love may loosen the chains of hopelessness. Living in God’s mercy, it may even change our minds about our enemies and open our ears to those “hate us the most.” Mercy just might teach us that life is, in fact, very short (and none of us knows the hour).

So, we might share a word of love, or offer a naked person a cloak, some of our clothes that just stay stored up in dresser drawers or hung up in closets. It might be offering a family member of loved one that extra chance. Living in the bounty of God’s fidelity, it just might help us overcome our own stubbornness to change and create a new vision of justice for those that we have so often condemned.

These incredible challenges from the Gospel of Luke, they invite us ever deeper into the mystery that salvation is not an individual sport. None of us reaches salvation alone. Salvation always and necessarily involves one another. You and I are not believers so as to only save ourselves. Faith is a source of real change and conversion in the ways we choose to live our daily lives.

Luke reveals to us that faith isn’t for the weak of heart, but rather a challenge to love; and, in fact, a command from Jesus – to lift people up that you and I so easily want to put down or diminish in some way. The sacred Eucharist: it invites us to change our measure of love. Jesus offers us true food, true mercy in his Real Presence.

So ask yourself: what is your measure of love? And how will people know that you follow Him?


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