In the world, but not of the world (Homily, 29OT)

Sunday 18 October 2020

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli  | For the past couple of weeks, Jesus has spoken to the pharisees and elders of the people, telling them that, by their actions, others would take their place in God’s Kingdom. First, Jesus spoke of their rejection from the Vineyard of the Lord, and then there was their banishment from the wedding feast. Well today, we hear of their attempt at pay-back. The Pharisees are so furious at Jesus that they enter into an unholy alliance with their enemies, the Herodians, so as to bring him down. And to do so, they used trickery and corruption. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, said Jesus to them; and render unto God what is God’s. For the Pharisees had sold their souls for money and expediency. But what of us? Where do our loyalties lie; what are the priorities by which we might be measured?

Will we say yes? (Homily, 28th Sunday in OT)

Sunday 11 October 2020

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
Homily: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) | You might recall last week that Jesus told a parable about a vineyard, which was an image for him of the Kingdom of God. Well, in today’s parable Jesus throws up another Kingdom image, this time that of a wedding feast. I’m sure you are all quite familiar with this image, yet it is not the ‘go to’ image we tend to think of when thinking of the Kingdom of Heaven. I suspect we will more readily go to images about resting and peacefulness. However, the challenge of this image – which, strikingly, does not come from Jesus – is that it can portray God’s heavenly kingdom in very passive and inert terms. This is not how Jesus conveys the Kingdom of Heaven. His words, like in today’s parable, invariably portray images of activity and engagement; of celebration and social interaction; of worship and praise. The Kingdom of Heaven is a busy place of active leisure, intentional creativity and unbounded joy.

The kingdom we seek is a person (Homily, 27th Sunday in OT)

Sunday 4 October 2020

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
Homily: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) | As a young lad growing up in the 1970s, I found the idea that God had a Kingdom quite puzzling. In those days, I could only imagine two possibilities of what this Kingdom could be like: either it was like the fantasy medieval kingdoms of fiction or the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Did God’s kingship mean He was somehow a sovereign ruler of some heavenly territory like Queen Elizabeth, or did he rule a kingdom with knights and dames, and chivalry and quests? Of course, such childhood ideas might get us to the starting gates of what God’s Kingdom is all about, but they are hardly where we need to go in our understanding.

By our deeds will we be known (Homily, 26th Sunday in OT)

Sunday 27 September 2020

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
Homily: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) | “Yeh-Nah.” “Nah-Yeh.” I get confused every time I hear this. Is it ‘yes’ or ‘no’; is it ‘I agree’ or ‘I don’t agree’? Both seem possible in a ‘yeh-nah’ world. We could say, human beings are the ‘yeh-nah’ species of God’s creation, His uniquely ambiguous beings. No other creature is able to commit to one thing and do the opposite. Jesus acknowledges this in his parable, which we’ve just heard. The two sons are both practitioners of the ‘yeh-nah’ way: the saying of one thing, but the doing of the other. As a bit of social analysis, Jesus is pointing out nothing particularly remarkable. We probably all want to think that we are fairly consistent in what we say and do, but it would be a bit more honest to admit we can all be somewhat inconsistent in our words and ways. 

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