And now, my brothers and sisters, this is just the beginning of Chapter 23, and as you can tell, it's a very harsh judgment on the part of Jesus against the religious leaders -- the scribes, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -- all of them. And as you go through the chapter, it becomes even more critical and harsh.
The Peace Pulpit
When we receive the sacrament of confirmation, we commit ourselves to be those who give witness to the good news of God’s love.
You are aware, I'm sure, of the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded this past Friday. It was a joint award, two people got it, but most extraordinary, part of it, is the teenage girl from Pakistan -- 17 years old, the youngest Nobel laureate since the prize began to be given out in 1901. The paper wrote about her, and the article that I read, it started with, "Who is Malala [Yousafzai]?" And some of us may wonder that, but in this instance, it wasn't just trying to find out, out of curiosity, who Malala is.
Editor's note: This homily was given at the 125th anniversary celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit.
The Peace Pulpit: We tend to want to put our relationship to God in a way that we feel we merit something. Not true; God first loved us.
The Peace Pulpit: What Jesus does through his death is show us how we can bring life to our world not by hating, but by returning love.
Our first lesson today from the prophet Ezekiel reminds us of the role of prophecy within the Jewish community, but also a role that continued on among Christians. Jesus was a prophet; John the Baptist was a prophet. The disciples were called to be prophets. Most of us probably do not think of ourselves as prophets. Even the role of the prophet that Ezekiel speaks about -- comparing the prophet to a watchman for Israel -- that has no relevance for us with our super-sophisticated radar systems, our U-2 planes that oversee the Earth at all the time.
You may remember over the past few weeks, two or three times, the Scripture readings have kind of led us into reflection about who Jesus really is -- that Jesus is son of man, son of Mary, fully human, like us in every way except sin. Totally human with all the emotions, all the need to develop and grow that every human being has. But also that Jesus is son of God raised up in power, the very maker of all the heavens and the earth. Jesus, son of Mary, son of God, profound mystery, and yet this is the very foundation of our whole faith life: Jesus, son of God and son of Mary.
Among the various Gospel readings that we have Sunday after Sunday, I think this particular lesson is one that every one of us probably feels we can easily be drawn into that situation, put ourselves there with the disciples as Jesus says, "Who do people say I am?" And I think it's easy to imagine how they must have kind of chatted with one another, "Well, what have you heard?
The Peace Pulpit: Isn't it true that in our world now, we need this human spirit of Jesus to learn how to be open, to welcome others into our midst?