Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

He was amazed at their lack of faith[1]. This is the tremendous sentence which closes today´s Gospel.

Sadly we live in a society that has replaced I believe, with I feel[2]; we live in a society where personal values or personal opinions or personal points of view has replaced [our] Christian morality. And when a prophet comes –a prophet is someone who proclaims the truth- society tries to discredit the prophet, we know this very well. Today we should realize that if Jesus Christ were walking the earth, once more teaching in the synagogues as well as in His own churches, He would be crucified again because our lack of faith, and our attitude toward all those who proclaim the truth[3].

            [And] All this leaves us with two questions: First, do I have the humility to handle to receive the truth? And second: do I have the courage to proclaim the truth?

            First question, do I have the humility to handle the truth? Morality tells us that we are not the creators and arbiters of Truth. Truth is not what we say it is. Two plus two is going to be four, no matter what we feel it could be. It takes humility for us to agree that some matters are right or wrong regardless of our feelings. Some people feel they have a right to steal from work because they put in extra hours. Well, the moral law is quite clear. It is a sin to steal. Theft is theft. End of story. Many people say that it is OK to have sex outside of marriage because it feels great. Well, wrong is wrong, no matter how I feel, I mean it takes humility to realize that there is a Higher Authority that keeps us from justifying anything, rationalizing our way to agreeing to anything. It takes humility to be a person of faith, a person who lives his or her faith and Christian morality.

Second question: do I have the courage to proclaim the truth? This is even more complex!

The proclamation of the truth demands tremendous courage. Proclaiming the truth means being crucified, being scorned, being criticized.

In the Catholic Church we do not believe in abortion. In the Catholic Church we do not believe in euthanasia. In the Catholic Church we do believe that using contraception is cheating on God, for He is who makes the plans and he is the Master of life and death. In the Catholic Church we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and even though we understand people who suffer the painful path of homosexuality, we cannot talk about marriage between two men or two women.

All this is part of our Catholic faith. Our faith is not only Bible reading or only Sunday mass, or only CCD classes. The Catholic faith is also the moral life that the Church teaches. And of course there is always someone wonders aloud why the Church speaks of moral when her ministers are full of immorality. It's true. But the moral teaching of the Church comes from Jesus Christ who is perfect God and perfect man. In other words: we need to remind ourselves, Jesus Christ is Truth Incarnate. Those who reject the truth, reject Him. But those who have the courage to proclaim His Truth, proclaim Jesus Christ. As simple as this.

Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, we just heard in the first reading. And the sentence is also for each one of us: Agustin, Maria, José, Carmen, Kevin, Jim, John, Ed, Carlos, Stephanie: I am sending you among your friends, among your neighbors, among your classmates to give testimony of your faith. Be brave, be strong, and be bold, not afraid to call yourself "Christian" in the midst of a world that mocks Christ and the Church.

Perhaps this morning we may borrow the beautiful words of St. Paul that we just heard at the second reading: I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong[4]

[1] Cfr Mk 6:1-6.
[2] C. S. Lewis.
[3] Readings: Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6.
[4] 2 Cor 12:7-10. 

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris