Saturday, July 4, 2015


Ezekiel 2:2-5; Ps 123 Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy;  2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6

When i was assigned to Cuero as a seminarian many years ago, 2003-2004, I was introduced to Fr Kirby, the then pastor of Cuero.  He was and is a man of many talents.  Gifted in a variety of ways. It was good to see him in action.  Though we didn't always see eye to eye.  Nonetheless, i have learned to value his input.  Even today I seek his guidance when i find myself a bit uncertain in the endeavor of being a pastor to the people of God.

When i was a seminarian he would often ask me if I had a truth sayer in my life.  Did i have someone in my life that no matter the circumstance or the consequence would always be honest and truthful about me and my decisions.

They wouldn't tell me what i wanted to hear but they would help reveal the truth of things regardless of what i may feel about seeing it unveiled and revealed in all its ugliness and beauty at the same time.

Do each of us have a truth sayer in our life?  Do we have that someone that can be beautifully honest regardless of the consequences?  Notice i didn't say brutally honest.  There is no room for brutality in regards to honesty and truth.  Truth has its own force and sway.

This is what God ask of Ezekiel in today's first reading.  Hear the words of commission again, "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestor have revolted against me to this very day.  Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they whom I am sending you.  But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD, God! And whether they heed or resist-for they are a rebellious house-they shall know that prophet has been among them."

What a beautiful description of a truth sayer commissioned by God.

This commission that rightly belongs to Ezekiel  now by baptism belongs to all of us.  We too must be the voice of truth for a society that has rebelled against God.  Whether they are 'hard of face" or 'obstinate of heart"; whether they 'heed' or 'resist' they should know a prophet has been among them.

This is the role of Christians in a society.  We profess the name of Christ not to be "nice" but to be voices of truth in love.  Unfortunately, in our society, we have divorced truth from love.  We think love is all about acceptance and tolerance.  What we forget is that love is about truth and the willingness to sacrifice our own comfort so that the truth of God's love can be made manifest.  Too often we cling to our comfort and truth in love suffers greatly.

We can not be a voice that simply says what people want to hear.  We can not be a voice that avoids the hot button topics because it may ruffle feathers and get under people's skin.  We can not be a voice that speaks only when no body is listening.  Truth, like God's word, is a two edge sword; it cuts in order to heal and strengthen.

We receive the same spirit of Ezekiel at baptism and confirmation.  We receive the same commission as well.  Do people know that their is a prophet in our midst when our presence and word are among them?

Like in the gospel, folks took offense to Jesus because he taught them with authority.  We must be ready to embrace the same resistance and reality in our own life.

Interesting that the gospel tells us that because the people resisted Jesus he was unable to perform any mighty deed there...he was amazed at their lack of faith."

But this amazement did not keep Jesus from living the call he had received from his father.  So it is with us.

Truth Sayers unite.  Truth sayers stand tall.  Truth sayers speak up and speak out. We can not be silenced by the crowd.

Here is what the church teaches:

Participation in Christ's prophetic office
904 "Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word"438

To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer.439
905 Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, "that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life." For lay people, "this evangelization . . . acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world."440

This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful.441
906 Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the communications media.442
907 "In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."443

This week let the truth in love ring loud and clear in your life.

1 comment:

David Roemer said...

Reasons to Believe in Jesus

Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

by David Roemer