Sunday, July 09, 2017

Dreadful hope (Sunday homily)

Stop and think a moment about what we just heard in the Gospel. 
Think about what Jesus said, especially in light of who he is.

He is God in human flesh. The Creator of all things. 
The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

And how did an all-powerful, all-seeing, 
all-knowing God describe himself?

“I am meek and humble of heart.”

“I am meet and humble of heart.”

The first and most basic of the seven deadly sins is pride. 
I can do this. I don’t need your help. I know what I’m doing. 
I need to be the one to fix this. It’s all on me!

Pride. We all have it, and I fear for myself, 
because I think see in myself only a small fraction of all that there is.
Arrogance. Self-sufficiency.

The other day the toilet in the church bathroom was clogged. 
Lucky me, I happened upon it! 
And my thought was, ew! why should I have to deal with this? 
Then I said to myself, “Seriously? Why not me?”

Especially when I think of all the messes 
my parents cleaned up for me – 
and all the filth we ask God to clean up.

“I am meek and humble of heart,” Jesus said. 
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.”

If there is any hope for you, for me – any hope at all – 
it is that we must give up our pride, our self-sufficiency, 
and learn from him. 

Maybe a start will be to ask: 
help me, Lord, to see my pride, and to confess it, and to repent of it. 
Help me to be meek and humble of heart.

I am certain he will answer that prayer. 
And I suspect it will come in ways often unpleasant. 

Bishop Joe Binzer one time said this, to a group of priests, 
about those people we sometimes meet who give them terrible fits. 
He said, be grateful, because they are helping you to grow in holiness! 

I dread the thought of what price I might have to pay 
to become truly meek and humble of heart; 
but I am filled with horror at the alternative, 
and I beg Jesus in his mercy, to save me:
to make me meek and humble, like him.

No comments: