22nd Sunday in ordinary time 2018
INTRO: Sometimes the end of summer and beginning of school for some of our young people and those in the work force have us “shopping” for new clothes for school, or new clothes for work.
So did we BUY the right things????
EXPLAIN: I am the uncle of three nieces here in town….. let me re-phrase that:
I am the “silly” and “naïve” uncle of three teenage nieces.
I don’t see them that often, so I decided one AUGUST to spend some quality time with them and take them SHOPPING……. They can pick out “something nice” for school!
Oh, my heavens… that was really difficult work! You all probably can envision this scenario.
THE MIDDLE NEICE……. MOST ARTISTIC AND FASHIONABLE, MAYBE EVEN FLAMBOYANT…. Looking through the racks, exclaims….. “Oh Uncle Jimmy, I like this!!!”
Well immediately, the younger one drops what she is looking at and liking… “I want that one”…. You find something else!!!
Almost WORLD WAR III!!!
I don’t think I will ever do that again!!
Are we wearing the right shoes?
The smartest footwear in the coolest colors?
Is our hairstyle…. The RIGHT way?
Are we in the RIGHT colors?
LABELS each can be important to many of us.
Some of us even think they MARK our identity, so we adopt “identity markers” …. Visible practices of dress that distinguishes us as “IN”!
And nobody wants to be considered “OUT”!
We all want to be part of the current scene.
And ……….. As I see it ……..
The one group in today’s Gospel “cherishes” the markers that identified them as part of their community …..
Washing, purifying, etc….
That is not necessarily a bad thing, but,
JESUS teaches us that there are better markers that identify us as the people of God,
Ones that many of us already OWN and USE! ………….
One true marker of our identity for a disciple is:
Yes, something God gave us …. Not something we bought in the store ….
OUR EYES identify us
Eyes that look into the eyes of another, despite color, race creed, with kindness, honesty, and compassion…
The eyes that give respects for all human beings and draws them into our circle of friends, that doesn’t bully or show
The kind of eyes that forgives our spouse, our loved ones, our neighbors.
Jesus teaches us about these BETTER MARKERS (our eyes) that identify us as a PEOPLE PECULIARLY HIS OWN….
…………And how does He know these are the better markers….??? ………Because, that’s what God His Father does to each of us..
GOD looks at each of us with love and compassion, forgiveness and acceptance.
Let us all do the same.