Homily – February 23, 2020

I think the message of today’s gospel could be; ‘you are meant to be better than this’. Jesus reminds the men and women to whom he was speaking that the lessons they were taught by the ancient laws were meant to influence their daily lives.

He tells them, you were taught to love your neighbour, that is the members of your own tribe and hate those who do you wrong. But I want you to know that you are meant to be better than this. I want to broaden the horizons of your minds. Open your heart to everyone who comes into your life no matter where they come from, no matter how they pray, no matter the color of their skin. Jesus calls them to pray for those who do them wrong. We are challenged to echo the words of Jesus as he hung from the cross; Remember the prayer of Jesus as he hung on his cross; Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

As followers of Jesus Christ we’re all challenged to grow beyond our latent bigotry and prejudice and our stereo typing of other people. God’s sun shines on the evil and on the good and God’s rain falls of all of us.

It’s easy to be friendly with friends but it is a challenge and a struggle to be pleasant to men and women with whom we have nothing in common.

Jesus tells us, be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect. Who of us can be faultless? We’re all mistake making beings. God’s perfection is in God’s love for each one of us, the good the bad and the ugly. God’s perfection is in his willingness to forgive and forget our sins and failing. That’s the perfection to which we are called.

We are meant to be better than people with closed minds and hard hearts. Jesus wanted to broaden the horizons of his hears minds and hearts and he wants the same for us. Our neighbour is anyone who comes into our lives especially the poor, the homeless, the newcomers to this land.

Our national crisis this past while is the confrontation between the first nations in BC and their resistance to a pipe line going through their nation’s sacred lands and the disruption to our economy by the blockading of the railroads that has been disastrous on the economy. We see the clenched fist of those who want to call in the troops and let big business get on with the job and we see the open hand of those who want to negotiate with the heritage chiefs – equal to equal, nation to nation. Today’s gospel might be a guide to both sides in this conflict. At this Mass we can pray for a just solution.