Faithlife Sermons

Them's Fightin' Words

Homilies for Sundays in Ordinary Time B  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Can we learn to handle differences and disputes as Jesus did?


Something in Human Nature loves a Fight

or, at least, an argument

Ed M vs Ross vs me + Paul McM

Three of us could argue about anything
best vacation places.
We could really get ‘into it’.
verbally (always) — loudly (often)
The fourth became a friend years later
and he’s that many years younger.
He often got upset when he found us enjoying a disputation.
We assured him there was no anger, just a debate. He never quite believed us;
there could be many reasons why.

Jesus understood

He knew that deep feeling (or faith), when challenged,
could → hurt and in turn, anger;
This short passage (Luke) doesn’t talk about how to deal with divisions
(it seems that Jesus here was talking about his eagerness (& fear)
of getting on with his mission.


— Is preparing to launch a section on suffering as discipline from God.
… let us persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, NABRE)
This is how Hebrews teaches us to deal with difficulty and disputes
keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus
Jesus promoted peace, wished it to many, granted it to some and taught his disciples to do likewise BUT
he never compromised his teaching:
He let people walk away if they couldn’t accept it (eg, the rich young man).

What do we do?

Overly loose: ‘Whatever … ‘
Overly rigid: ‘My way, or else!’

What Did Jesus Do?

Taught firmly
refused to bow to pressure
with sadness allowed people to go their way.
He conquered death by submitting to it;
emerging on the other side.
Can we learn to allow people to go their way (maybe even to their own destruction)
confident that Jesus, who suffered to overcome,
will receive them
in his own way,
his own time
his own mercy?
— And not only them, but us too?
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