Jesus Our Shepherd

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
12 August 2012

Homily
Rev. Robert Weiss

Du, Du liegst mir im Herzen, Du, Du liegst mir im Sinn, Du, Du machst mir viel Schmerzen, weiss nicht wie gut ich Dir bin” … My rough translation is: “The thought of you lies deeply in my heart, you are present in my inner being, I pine for you, I don’t know if I’m good enough for you.” German isn’t a Romance language, such as Italian or Spanish, but deep feelings come through in this ballad. And it is with feelings that we exist in our lives, witness the Olympics and our reactions to tragedies as well as positive personal and family events.

Elijah or Elias, in the New Testament, had experienced a second exodus in his life, brought on by exile and negative political developments, and he felt tired. After a three-year drought, and the victory over the 452 gods of Baal, he was ready to end it all. And also he had experienced that God is not present to us in earthquake, wind, and lightning, that is, not in any form of violence, but rather in the soft whisper of the breeze, that is, in the loving positive presence of the caring Father. His positive reaction to the bidding of the angel, his renewed resolve to carry on, is encouragement to us confronted with the obstacles we find in life.

Among the daily difficulties we deal with is sorting out the truth, and recognizing the falsehood, in political actions, debate and advertising. In our faith community here at JOS, we hear, read, view and discuss many aspects of theology, history, and attitudes in our own “Nenno” Catholic Church, no longer the “Roman” Catholic Church. It is discouraging to try to comprehend the negative and, humanly speaking, incorrect positions of those who traditionally have been the teachers and leaders of our faith. We go to our foundation in faith, love and sense of justice as based on the life and teachings of Jesus so that we may find our way to the truth.

St. Paul in the second reading gives us the encouragement we need in the daily positive and difficult decisions and actions of our daily life. He sets a high standard of acceptance and forgiveness in our dealings with others. Though our social contacts may tend to be more “me” centered, he urges us to adopt a more “we” approach with others

And in the gospel, we have Jesus running into the opposition of leaders who could not accept his message. The Pharisees resorted to insinuations to try to negate the truth and value of his teachings. In the present day, we enjoy personal contacts through the widespread dissemination of information. Accompanied by the almost unlimited capability of people known and unknown to us to communicate, it takes insight and control on our part to see our way through the myriad possibilities of spreading both truth and falsehood. We rely on the messages of today’s three readings to be our guiding lights through life. AMEN