Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We need prophets with authority just like Jesus

This past weekend, my homily changed a lot from when I wrote it to the last time I preached it on Sunday morning. In all three homilies I told about how one group of ministers in one town were committed to not doing gay marriages. We all worked on and signed a marriage policy enumerating how we are going to prepare couples for marriage and help marriages in trouble. And we all agreed that we will not perform same-sex marriages. When I approached another group of ministers about it, I was saddened to hear their response. They said they agreed but that their congregations are divided about it so they don't want to speak out about it. They said that they will speak privately to individuals but that they can't commit to it. I then said that I'm not trying to mock non-catholics because I know there are plenty of Catholic bishops and priests who feel the exact same way.

I then talked about how we are in need of prophets who speak with authority. That was the point of the first reading and gospel, after all. Moses was a prophet and Jesus spoke like a prophet. They did so because they spoke God's Word. Both Moses and Jesus put God's word over their own desires and wants. I used more words but, basically that's what I said.

The change that happened throughout the weekend was in the last part of the homily, the practical part. I started off the weekend asking people to be supportive of me when I speak out on controversial issues. But, after preaching that, it occured to me how self-serving that is. And, if I really want to be a prophet, I should expect to be hated and persecuted. So, I shifted things the next day to calling people to speak out about immigration, poverty, death penalty, abortion, same-sex marriage, and other controversial issues.

The strange thing was that I had no idea that I was going to put this message into practice. But more on that later.

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