Posts Tagged ‘6-19-2016’


Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Sometimes you have to struggle with a scripture to get something out of it. When I first read today’s Gospel early this week, to start thinking about a homily, I drew an absolute blank. Nothing came. That says more about me than it does about the scripture. I finally decided it might help to focus in on just one part of it. So I zeroed in on the part where Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” All of a sudden, three really strong responses came to me from that part of the Gospel.
First, I was really touched. The passage really shows the humanness of Jesus. After all, it’s the most human thing in the world to wonder what people think of you. Psychologists say that when you walk into a group, any group—a club, a meeting, a class, a parish—the foremost question in your heart is “Will this group accept me?” And of course Jesus, if he really is a human being, had a desire to be appreciated, to be liked and respected. And so he asked, out loud, to his friends, a sort of sensitive question that maybe you’ve often felt like asking your friends, “What do you really think of me?” “Who do you say that I am?”
I was touched by how very human Jesus is, and second, I was disappointed. I was disappointed that he had to ask. I mean, he’d lived for months and months on the closest possible terms with these people and he had to ask, “Well, do you like me?” “What do you think of me”? “Am I O.K.?” I’m disappointed that the apostles were so stingy with feedback, so unexpressive, so uncommunicative, that Jesus finally had to just ask them.
My final response to the reading was, I was challenged. There are lots of people that I respect, or like, or admire, and there are some that I deeply, deeply love. How good have I been about letting them know? How have I mentioned to friends or family lately what I admire about them, or respect about them, or like about them.
Do you know where you can find the most beautiful compliments in the world? In a funeral parlor. Yes, in a funeral parlor, when it’s too late for the dead person to hear them. Children and relatives and friends of the deceased often gather, perhaps feel a little guilty about not expressing love more openly before and say the most wonderful things.
Why wait so long? God has been absolutely lavish in expressing love and respect, esteem and concern for us. In God’s name, let’s not be stingy in communicating love and respect and esteem and concern to each other.