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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Monday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 16, 2019

Monday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time


1 Timothy 2:1-8

Psalm 28:2, 7, 8-9

Luke 7:1-10


Gospel Reading


 When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, "He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us." And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.


Reflection

 

Rising Above the Social, Religious and Cultural Barricades


Whether we like it or not we have our limits and limitations. Right from the beginning of our lives we are fettered and framed. What are those fetters and frames? Our birth as a human being, as male or a female or in a particular geographical territory, or language group, religion, cast, class, or family automatically classifies; demands and imprints on our personality certain marks. Some people take pride in belonging to a particular category while others lament over their misfortune. These groupings demand from their members certain behavioral pattern congenial to them. Those who submit and cope with the set patterns are regarded exemplary and rewarded by the society while those who fail or refuse to fit into their frames are often reprimanded, punished or even rejected. However, strangely enough, when it comes to place somebody on the pedestal, the very same people, who dissuade the members from crossing the boundaries will ignore and refuse to take into account the loyal followers and will sing praises to those who dare to cross their boundaries and outgrow their frames.


Today’s Gospel presents a centurion who amazed Jesus by refusing to remain in his frame. He dared to cross the set boundaries at every turn. He crossed the social boundary of a normal slave-owner by sympathizing with and caring for his slave. He crossed the boundary of his religion by building a synagogue for the Jews who considered him as their bitter enemy and looked down on him as an untouchable. He crossed the boundaries of a Roman official by respecting the customs and snobbish beliefs of the arrogant Jews. None of these he was expected to or obliged to do. Nobody would have blamed him if he did not. However, he went out of his way to do it. Why? He did not want to remain a mass-product of his Roman culture. He wanted to be special and unique. People who are docile and always follow the dictates of others remain subordinates while those who think for themselves and take the lead will become significant. They alone can amaze people in a positive sense. There might have been hundreds of centurions in Jerusalem. But this one, through the crossing of boundaries, got into the hearts of the Jews and Jesus and eventually got mentioned in the Gospel too. What inspired him to do that? The Jews who recommended him to Jesus themselves give the answer, “because he loves our nation.” Yes, it is love that enables people to rise above the social, cultural and religious barricades. People are often prisoners of frames they are born into or grown into. Those walls prevent them from seeing the beauties or listening and sympathizing with the agonies and sufferings of others and thus fail to appreciate or reach out to wipe their tears. Love, love alone is the remedy to this blindness, deafness and lack of sensitivity. Our true worth consists in shattering our frames, crossing our boundaries, and experiencing the freedom of the children of God. Ships are safe in their harbor, but they are not meant to remain there. It is true that frames, rules and regulations give us security and comfort. Moreover, abandoning and outgrowing frames is risky. But, life demands it and that is precisely our divine vocation – to grow, to come out of our small shells of ego, crossing boundaries all the way!


Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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