11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 17, 2018

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


INTRO: It is amazing the things I remember about my youth!!

One thing I remember is my KINDERGARTEN REPORT CARD! Can you believe that? I was astounded at it, mainly because it COMPARED me………………..to my twin brother!!!

On this report card were listed skills that a kindergartener SHOULD HAVE and we kindergarteners were marked up as

Well…. on the skills of “coloring”….

I was marked UNSATISFACTORY and to make matters worse, my TWIN was marked SATISFACTORY!!!

You want to know why???
The teacher remarked that John “colors within the lines”

And JAMES “colors outside the lines”…

So, he was graded as SATISFACTORY and I was graded as UNSATISFACTORY!!!


Today, as a priest, as a Catholic, and as a Christian, I don’t believe that’s a bad thing: to have been marked up as UNSATISFACTORY for coloring outside the lines!!!!

Jesus always commented negatively on the “righteousness” of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who follow the LETTER OF THE LAW. He loved them and wanted to help form them into a more developed person.

These people were very rigorous defenders of doing all that the law said to do and NOTHING ELSE…. Perhaps, like those who very rigorously and strenuously color INSIDE THE LINES!

Jesus knew that there would be situations to follow in our lives that weren’t always written about in the law. He knew about the likes of those who just may “go beyond”, who “color outside the lines”, who can “think out of the box”…

…….. It would be the same kind of thinking that SAVED the man on the road left half dead by robbers…. That Samaritan colored outside the lines. He KNEW THE LAW, but, followed his heart…………..the very thing JESUS wants of us.

On this CHURCH-GOING DAY, Jesus speaks of the seed growing, or in other words…. The church, the people of God, you and me, growing in ways that produce a greater person.

And we can do that!
That kind of person produced comes from following the HEART, and doing what comes from the heart of love and charity………………. Like: Helping the forlorn on the street
Thinking lovingly about those who are different in color, race, or creed
Working for peaceful reforms


Yes to follow the laws, of course we should, but, a BIGGER YES to follow the heart for the good of another, especially when we haven’t been used to it. That’s the growth of the seed that JESUS wants in us: His church!!!

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