Saturday, September 19, 2009

Homily / Sermon for the 25th Sunday of the Year

‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35)

Jesus often deals in paradox. A paradox is a saying, an expression which seems to contradict itself: the first shall be last and the last shall be first; if anyone wants to be first, he must be servant of all; anyone who welcomes me, does not welcome me, but the one who sent me, if you give then you will receive … and so on. And if his words seems self-contradictory, his life even more so: the cross of execution becomes the tree of victory, weakness becomes strength, humility becomes power.

Jesus truly turns the world upside down. And it is not because he speaks in riddles - though many still think so - nor is it because his message is obscure or irrelevant - though there are many who make such claims.

No. Jesus speaks in paradoxes because it is the paradoxes which are true.

The person who hates, or bears a greivance, is never happy but is eaten by bitterness.
The person who is consumed by greed can never be satisfied.
The one who seeks wealth, will always want to possess more.
If you want to be truly happy - you will find that by making others happy.
If you wish to be successful - then you must be ready to learn from others.
If you wish to be liked - then you must show care and concern for those around you.
To seek all these things you seek not them in themselves, but in others.
Not by taking, but by giving.

And if you wish to receive love - then it must not be your expectation - but your constant gift.

Love can never be selfish, because love is - by definition - the giving away of the self: and God is love.


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