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Weekend Homilies
A listing of recent homilies delivered at my parish.
Una lista de homilías recientes entregadas en mi parroquia.
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  • Pub Date: Feb 09, 2020
  • 02-09-2020 - 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  • Listen:
  • Reading:
    1 COR 2:3-5
    Write:
    I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive [words of] wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
    Reflect:
    In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 14, we hear of St. Paul’s one recorded failure in his preaching of the gospel. It happened in Athens when he tried to present the gospel in terms that would directly relate to the world in his day. He did not start by preaching Jesus Christ. He started by lauding the Greeks for their belief in multiple gods. He was laughed at by some, others said “we’ll have to hear from you about this at some other time”, others just turned away, and only a very few believed.
    The next we hear of Paul’s exploits is at Corinth, and our reading today is from his first letter to the Corinthians, which he wrote to them after he left them to preach in other places. I think it is a VERY important point that Paul says that he did not preach anything but Jesus and him crucified. This became the primary push for St. Paul in all the rest of his preaching life. He KNEW the power of the Cross.
    In his letter to the Romans, he says “I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” This gospel is nothing less than “Jesus Christ and him crucified!”
    This is, by far, one of my most favorite sections of Paul’s writing. It needs to be repeated, even memorized, because it is the way we will break through to this world with its indifference toward the faith. What needs to be repeated? “I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”
    Apply:
    How well do we understand what we hold in our hands? What we read in the Scriptures? What we take in the Eucharist? What we embrace in our hearts? What we proclaim with our mouths?
    St. Paul knew the power of God resided in Christ crucified and risen. When Jesus knocked him to the ground and asked him “Saul, why are you persecuting me?”, Paul understood the power of the divinity of Jesus, and what he did, and what he does to this day.
    We need to be ready to proclaim Christ and Christ crucified, just as Paul did. We need not come up with fancy phrases that tickle the ears. We need to just tell the simple truth that Jesus, who lived and died almost 2000 years ago, did so for our salvation. And this is no trivial thing. What the Greeks worshiped in ignorance, and so much of our society today chooses to be ignorant of, we worship in truth for we worship Jesus Christ and him crucified!
    We need the same approach as St. Paul who said simply in our reading today “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” We don’t need to wear a 10 pound crucifix around our necks, or wander around with the rosary around our necks, or in our fist, or even on our belts. What we need is to know him. Amen.
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