Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023

Episode 5 November 03, 2023 00:06:49
Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023
Sundays with Bishop Ken
Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023

Nov 03 2023 | 00:06:49

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Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw

Show Notes

Today Bishop Ken reflects on Jesus' desire for us to follow the model of the family. Support this ministry. 

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Episode Transcript

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens that are hard to carry and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.' As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.' You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." The Gospel of the Lord Jesus was not happy with the style and the spirit of the religion of His time. It had become too formal and aloof, too overdone. It had become legalistic with lots of rules (some of them were added to the law of the Old Testament). It got complicated and the spirit behind the rules was lost. Too much specialization and it did not have the right spirit. That's what He's criticizing in this gospel: "Don't follow that example." It's a good time to ask: "What is the style, the model, Jesus wants His church to have?” A survey of parishioners asked several questions. The last two were "What do you like the most about this parish?” and “What do you like the least about this parish?" To the first question about what he liked best, one fellow answered, “About half the parishioners.” To the question about what he liked least, he replied, “the other half." That's not the model Jesus called us to follow. You know His preference. It was the family. And He said it repeatedly. "Who's My Father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters ... you are and you must become like children if you are to share in this kingdom." And in this gospel, He says: "Look -- your brothers and sisters! You know the father of this family is God. Don’t act like you are better than a brother or a sister. You're all equals. Different responsibilities, but all equals. And that's the model that comes through very clearly over and over as Jesus tries to shape His new community. We must never forget that. We must follow the example Jesus sets and remember we're all brothers and sisters. It's a big family and there's room for many kinds of people. This is a message we need to hear, time and time again, as the other way of living creeps up on you, almost without noticing it. I pray that our whole church family can always follow the model Jesus gave his brothers and sisters who were gathered around the family table, with Jesus as our host and God as our Father, who welcomes everyone.

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