Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily


Blessed Sacrament Parish

Scripture Readings

Homily by Father Mike Kuse

February 16, 2014 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time   

10 AM Service

Gospel Mark 5:17-37

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.

I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,

not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter

will pass from the law,

until all things have taken place.

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments

and teaches others to do so

will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments

will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses

that of the scribes and Pharisees,

you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.


“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,

You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.

But I say to you,

whoever is angry with his brother

will be liable to judgment;

and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’

will be answerable to the Sanhedrin;

and whoever says, ‘You fool,’

will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,

and there recall that your brother

has anything against you,

leave your gift there at the altar,

go first and be reconciled with your brother,

and then come and offer your gift.

Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.

Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,

and the judge will hand you over to the guard,

and you will be thrown into prison.

Amen, I say to you,

you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.


“You have heard that it was said,

You shall not commit adultery.

But I say to you,

everyone who looks at a woman with lust

has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye causes you to sin,

tear it out and throw it away.

It is better for you to lose one of your members

than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.

And if your right hand causes you to sin,

cut it off and throw it away.

It is better for you to lose one of your members

than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.


“It was also said,

Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.

But I say to you,

whoever divorces his wife -  unless the marriage is unlawful -

causes her to commit adultery,

and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,

Do not take a false oath,

but make good to the Lord all that you vow.

But I say to you, do not swear at all;

not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;

nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

Do not swear by your head,

for you cannot make a single hair white or black.

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,' and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’

Anything more is from the evil one.”



The question for us this morning is: Do we live by the letter of the law, or do we have the spirit of the law?  Think about that for a moment.  If you have the spirit of the law it means we become more proactive in how we live out our faith.  We think twice about a lot of things.  But if we live by the letter of the law all we say is, “I didn’t do that, or I did do this.”  But it’s not really connecting us to the rest of our life. 


When we live by the spirit of the law, it is that spirit that comes to us at baptism and it is a way of living.  We are not dividing up our lives into what I did good, or what I did bad. Rather we are asking ourselves: Was the spirit of God really leading me, and did I truly follow that spirit?


When you leave church today don’t tell anyone that you were here.  Let them find out by your actions that you were here, that you prayed, and that you asked forgiveness. Your spirit is renewed and whatever you do today or for the rest of the week, people will pick up on it.  They will know that you can be counted on to not judge, to always be ready to do the right thing — not always perfectly — but they will just sense that your heart is into whatever you are doing.  That’s what this is all about. 


In the time of Jesus 2,000 years ago, there was no church.  There was just the temple.  There was no liturgy as you and I experience liturgy today.  So Jesus says, “I want to take everybody to a new level.  I want them to experience the grace of God and know that my death and resurrection is not about doing this or doing that, it’s about who we are as disciples and as people of faith.”


If you and I think for a moment, who we are today is because the generations who came before us lived out their spirit.  They worshiped the same God, and people basically looked the same way.  But the way we live our lives today spiritually and morally comes into question and it is up to us to use our own sense of conscience to guide us. We ask ourselves, “I wouldn’t want anyone else to do it, why would I do it?  And if I did something not of the spirit, why did I do that? And how can I change?”


The children who are here today are going to pass on what they are receiving from us.  The generations following us are going to ask the question: How did those people live their faith?  It may be a whole different world.  It may be a whole different world and  we see things changing all the time.  The way we live our faith changes.  But the basic values of our faith do not change.


An example would be for someone who takes his or her own life.  There are some here who remember that in the past, if you took your own life you were not allowed to be buried from the church.  Today we would not accept that as a norm.  Because if someone takes his or her life, somehow the spirit inside fades away — way beyond their control.  So it is up to us to have them come back into the assembly.  And we pray for them and we realize that it wasn’t right or wrong, it was that the overpowering of something that took away the spirit.  And it was something that if the spirit was alive, they never would have done.


So the church is asking us to be a people of heart and we should never judge. We should only love. And if the spirit in my life touches someone else’s spirit, it’s going to touch me because when we do things in the spirit — we see things differently.  As we were singing, “Lord, open my eyes, let me see with the life of the spirit, and then I’ll see how fragile life is, and I will know that I must embrace my sister and my brother.”


That’s why it is so important for us not to judge and not to condemn — but to walk with each other in the spirit of God that lifts us up. 


I’m sure it’s happened to everyone here when you were having a moment and you thought the world was crashing in and someone just happened to say,  “How are you doing today.”  Or the phone rings and someone you haven’t talked to in a long time and doesn’t realize what is happening in your life right then, talks to you and that person picks you up and your spirit comes alive.

Today as we come here we don’t know what everyone is dealing with in their lives.  But what we do know is that if we let the spirit of God enter into this assembly, we are going to lift everyone’s life.  It’s just for us to open up our hearts.  So we come back to that question, “Are you and I living by the letter of the law?  Or are we living with the spirit of the law.”  It’s not that we talk that way, it’s that we live that way.  And we live that way in our marriages, in our homes, our schools, our parishes and in our places of work.


If there is anything lacking in this world — it’s not money, it’s not food, it’s not water — it’s our inability to just let the spirit of God flow through us.  Because when that happens the very presence of God rises way beyond any one of us.


May we see that spirit this week.


May we feel that spirit this week.


May we know that it is that spirit that makes the difference.


And it’s that change from one person to another, from one generation to another, that the Son of God came for one reason — that by having his sprit we will never fail to love.


*  *  *

Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.


Actions: E-mail | Permalink |

Post Rating