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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Ezekiel 2:2-5
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6
July 5, 2015

This weekend is, of course, our national holiday remembering the signing of The Declaration of Independence and how we came to be a free nation.

So this weekend we celebrate freedom.  In 1776, it was freedom from an oppressive government that was not concerned about the colonists.

We are entitled to our freedom.  It is the way things are meant to be.  The Declaration of Independence actually refers to what God entitles us to.  It speaks of how God, as our creator, gives us the right to life, liberty, and happiness.

With this comes must come freedom to choose.  God gives us free will to choose whatever we want.  Our society is taking that freedom for all its worth now, saying we cannot limit people’s right to freedom and hence to live however they want.

I think we need to ask ourselves, “do we make good use of our freedom”.

Leading up to the days of the Prophet Ezekiel, the people embraced the free will that God had given them to do whatever they wanted.  God let them.  It was their choice but in choosing not to live as God had taught them, they lost God’s divine protection and were defeated by their enemies.

Ezekiel was among taken into exile.  It was while Ezekiel was in exile that God calls him to be a prophet.  God described the people as rebels but yet God still sent them Ezekiel to once again offer God’s message to His people.

Some believe that all the freedom we have today points to society at the pinnacle of its existence.  That’s their view but I wonder if, instead of improving life, we are slipping away from God.

Look at what is happening.  I just saw a headline on Friday that said there is now a “mass killings” in the United States about once every two weeks with a school shooting about once a month.  I hope we all agree this is bad.  I hope there is no one who would argue that the people have the right to commit these shootings.

God does not want these things to happen but God allows them as consequences of our choices.  We indeed are free but we must realize there are consequences to the actions we commit in freedom.

Realizing how many bad things happen in the world on a regular basis, it should lead us to realize we don’t always realize make good choices.  How are we to make better choices?

The bad things should make us realize we are human and imperfect.  We are weak and it is in our weakness that Paul speaks of how we come to realize how much we need God.  We need God to help us make good choices and then to actually do what is good.

We need to let God in.  Today we hear how Jesus visited His hometown but did not perform mighty deeds there because the people thought they knew all about Him and did not faith to let Him into their lives.

The struggle with what to do with our freedom is not new.  The Bible contains numerous stories of people who did not follow God’s ways and what happened to them.  The Bible always contains God’s instructions on how we might live.  It isn’t always easy.  What the Bible teaches us about marriage, loving our enemies, and many others things is not popular today but it is what is best for us.  It is the divine order.  May we always choose to use our freedom to follow God.

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