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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Genesis 3:9-15
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (7bc)
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-25
June 10, 2018

As Jesus came home, a crowd once again gathered.  How we long to see great crowds come to church!  We see large crowds at Christmas and Easter.  If something terrible happens in the world, we might see more people here but, if it’s just an ordinary Sunday, our churches are not very full anymore.  Why?

Some people have abandoned any notion of faith and God.  They think we might be out of our minds for believing.  Sometimes they say it doesn’t make any sense to them to believe.  I would ask if they have ever really opened themselves to believe.

Perhaps the “serpent tricked” them just as with Adam and Eve.  I think today the serpent likes to spread confusion by telling us that no one believes everything that our faith teaches us.  So, the serpent says it’s okay for us to pick and choose what we believe.

This leads to relativism where people think it is okay to believe whatever one wants as long as you don’t hurt anyone.  They say this but then if we want to speak up for what our faith teaches, they tell us to be quiet.  They promote tolerance but they don’t tolerate what our faith teaches.  Thinking of what Jesus says in the gospel, Satan tries to tie us up so he can plunder our house.

I might point out here that if the relativists and atheists are so sure that we are not right, what reason do they have to not let us speak?  Do they know they cannot prove us wrong?  Do they know what our faith teaches is true?

What are some other ways that the serpent tries to trick us to not come to church?

Satan can use shame to make us feel unworthy to come to church just as Adam hid himself from God after the Original Sin.  Yet, it is exactly when we are discouraged and shamed by our sins that we need to cry out to God for forgiveness.  Knowing that Jesus laid down his life for us on the Cross gives us the perfect reason to trust that God will forgive us.

On other hand, Satan at times tries to mask our sins so we don’t see them.  This way we think we are good and that we don’t need to come to church every week.  Satan wants us to think it doesn’t matter if we miss church once in a while.

Next, while Satan likes to mask our sins so we don’t see our own sins, he likes us to the see the sins of those who do promote the faith to make them look like hypocrites.  The sex abuse scandal comes to mind.  Nothing excuses these past sins but we are all sinners in need of redemption who need to admit our need for God’s help.

Along with this, Satan likes to make sure we are busy with other things and that we think those other things are more important than getting to church every week.  Satan says who needs to go every week.

Then missing one week becomes two weeks.  Two weeks becomes three.  Then, it becomes I’ll go once this other stuff is done.  Then, we think we are doing okay (that’s what the serpent says anyway) and we find it has been a while since we have even acknowledged God.

Then, something bad happens and we have troubling finding God because we don’t have a relationship with Jesus.  We become distant from God.

This is why the serpent wants us to think it is okay not to go to church on a regular basis.  He knows the best way to lead us from God can be in little steps so we don’t even notice.

Satan knows that if we come to church every week to hear God’s Word, to be strengthened by receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, and pray throughout the week, that we will develop a relationship with Jesus.  Satan wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Jesus laid down his life to save us.  Satan leads us astray not for our good but to win souls for himself.

We need to come to church to help build our relationship with God.  Choosing to come to church over other things says we put God first in our lives.

Are there reasons to miss Mass?  The Church says we can miss for serious illness of ourselves (or something we provide care for).  If there is three feet of fresh snow, that can keep us from getting to church.  If we can’t drive or walk to church or get a ride, God understands.  Otherwise, we need to come to know Jesus.

 

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