Outcast or Cast Out
Greetings on this the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: EZ 18:25-28; PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; PHIL 2:1-11; MT 21:28-32
Note: This homily will be preached at the Vigil Mass, Saturday, September 26th, 2020.
The gospel reading for Saturday was the Second Prediction of the Passion.
How this applies to today’s Gospel is simply these points:
- Jesus warned the Son of Man is to be handed over.
- The apostles did not understand
- It was hidden from them.
- They were afraid to ask.
They were afraid to ask.
This is a big deal because the Lord is dialogical. In the entire expanse of sacred Scripture is not one of God speaking and we only listening. It is actually a case of God asking man questions about what they are thinking.
He is dialogical. He speaks, of course, but he listens too.
In the reading today from Ezekiel the people exclaim ‘The Lord is not fair!’
The Lord response with His perspective on the same situation.
Then he asks them, “Whos way is not fair?”
The Psalms reading today Psalms 25 the psalmist is pleading with the Lord to dialog with him.
- Twice he asks the Lord to guide.
- Three times he asks the Lord to remember.
- Four times he asks the Lord to teach.
Pleading, “Talk to me Lord”, he says, but talk remembering how fragile I really am.
The Lord speaks indeed. The song Paul quotes in the letter to the Philippians tells volumes of how the Lord responded, humbly.
Original text Philippians 2:1-11 (minus 8c, 10c, 11c):
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God, something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.
Coming in human likeness
and found human in appearance, he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death
Because of this, God greatly exalted him,
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The most reassuring words of the Lord of all that speak to me, ‘What is your opinion?”
How many don’t care about your opinion?
How many times have you been shut out for what you think or what you hold to be true?
But that is not the Lord’s way.
What is your opinion? He humbly asks and responds to the real not the hypocritical. He knows as soon as we talk to him like the psalmist has done it is not long before we are asking the right questions and questioning the wrong ways.
Two sons… repeat the gospel reading regards to the two sons.
Prostitutes and tax collectors respond to Jesus and these outcasts are entering the kingdom of God. Those who presume to be in the kingdom are cast out.
What is the question prior to the opinion ‘question’?
Which of these did the Father’s will?
Those who do likewise as the Lord does.
That is to say,
- Humble yourself. We have to head the voice of God in sacred Scripture and in daily life.
- Empty yourself of yourself. We need to see the world as the Lord sees it. My advantage and alliance are inferior to the purposes of the Lord.
- Obedient that is listen to God speak. We must model ourselves after the Lord’s only Son. He isn’t asking us to do anything he hasn’t done himself.
Casting out others is not our calling.
Calling the outcast is our work.
How will be approach the days ahead? Casting people out because they are ‘not as holy as we are?
Or reaching out to the outcast – the ones who see less of themselves than the Lord wants for them (prostitutes and tax collectors).
Jesus offers the Eucharistic gift to the outcast. Let us not be cast out.
Come to the banquet of the Lord.
What is your opinion?
Peace be with you,