Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday 26A. "Turn away from sins": God undoes the effects of evil through the healing and new life of forgiving love

"... if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die."

It takes humility to put God back in the driver's seat. But humility comes only through freedom, the ability to turn ourselves over in trust to another.

The other day I drove my mother to the doctor and, just like most passengers she cannot read my mind and know my thoughts as I make decisions about acceleration and braking. It didn't help her sense of confidence that we passed a couple of accidents along the way. Periodically her hands would go up in simulated self-protection as I braked in a way probably differently than she would have chosen to do had she been driving and had faced a similar situation.

We have all been faced with the challenge of being a passenger. Some of us by becoming, as humorously labeled, "backseat drivers", and called this because we are unable to really turn over the decision-making for the safety and well-being of everyone in the car, including ourselves, to the only one who is really in charge: the man or woman with their hands on the wheel.

This week in Germany we have seen a man, advanced in years, humbly approach a people who are afraid he came into their midst to take away their freedom, their future, their fulfillment. But his humble presence speaks so profoundly of his own sense of freedom and confidence in God made possible by faith that many critics and nay-sayers have not only been silenced but have instead responded with enthusiastic acceptance of him and his message, no longer throwing up their hands in fear that he wants to take over the wheel and reduce their sense of freedom and self-determination.

For the full text of the homily for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy by clicking here.

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