By: Fr. Scott Karnik
Homily for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday, June 10th, 2018:
Today’s readings give us two ways to react to our own sinfulness. In Genesis, Adam and Eve have disobeyed God because they want to be like God. When God finds out that they have disobeyed the one command He gave them, He interrogates them, to get them to admit their sin. Adam and Eve respond by blaming someone else. Adam goes so far as to blame God. Adam says “The woman, whom you put here with me, she gave me the fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” Eve said, “the serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.” Adam and Eve’s response is blame, pride, and “I did it anyway.” They express no contrition. But God expresses mercy and love anyway. God will care for humanity in spite of sin. It is God who takes the initiative to restore His relationship with man, after man (Adam and Eve) has disrupted it.
In St. Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’s relatives see Him serve God His Father. Jesus dismisses personal security (a good job as an excellent carpenter), safety (he decided to roam the countryside as a travelling rabbi), and personal reputation (he did not care what people thought of Him). He would serve God His Father. The scribes accuse Jesus of demonic possession when He exorcises demons. The Scribes and Pharisees hate Jesus so much that when they see God’s Incarnate love for mankind in Jesus Christ, they believe they are seeing the incarnate power of Satan instead. Jesus warns them that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable. If someone refuses consistently the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, they will end up being incapable of recognizing truth, right before their eyes. In their minds, evil will become good and good will become evil. A condition for forgiveness of sins is penitence, a feeling of pain or sorrow for sins. To refuse the promptings of the Holy Spirit will eventually destroy all sense of sin. If there is no sense of sin, there is no penitence, and there is no forgiveness because in our prideful souls, we haven’t sinned. “The woman, whom you put here with me”…she’s at fault, not me. The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.” It’s not my fault. But I disobeyed anyway. The scribes and Pharisees will end up being so hateful that they will plan and carry out Jesus’s crucifixion.
St. Paul writes that we are nomads in an earthly tent. We are to fix our gaze on what is unseen and hoped for, eternal love for God and unity with Him in heaven. We are to prepare for the eternal dwelling God is preparing for us. So therefore, our response to our sinfulness is shown in Psalm 130. It is a penitential psalm. The author pleads with God from “out of the depths.” The depth is that state of alienation and pain because he has sinned. He makes a supplication to God. A supplication is “a humble request in prayer.” He asks God for forgiveness of his iniquities, his wickedness. He declares that he will trust in the Lord and trust in His word. He will place his confidence in God’s forgiveness. The author believes the Lord is “kind,” the Lord is affectionate, gentle, and loving.” He believes the Lord has “plenteous redemption,” a willingness to buy back, to liberate one from sin by payment, by atonement for one’s sins. It is God’s own Son who will do that. This psalm contains a priestly assurance of salvation because of the psalmist’s penitence.
If we put these responses side-by-side, we see clearly how we are to respond to our sinfulness. We are to be humble penitents whom God will respond to with forgiveness, love, and mercy.
One more thing: Pray the Rosary. The first Sorrowful Mystery is Jesus’s Agony in the Garden. One of the purposes of praying that decade is to sharpen our contrition for our sinfulness. God’s response will be mercy and forgiveness, which is exactly what we need.
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