What do the readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time have to do with these photos?
Take out the names of those listed, and put in the name of your father and other relatives. Along the way Dad asked his children, “Who do people say that I am?” They replied, “You are just like Uncle Dick. Others say you are like Uncle Tom, still others one of the other uncles in our extended family.” This changes the passage but it makes a powerful point. Can you describe God or Jesus in the same way you would describe your father. God is the ultimate father. What is he like? What does he stand for? What is his personality like?
“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule.” (CCC 2223) Jesus goes on, “Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and told them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Our Gospel tells us, we must take on the same personality as Jesus. If we do not know or care about who Jesus is, what he is like, what his personality is, how can we strive to become like him?
It was impossible to upset my father. He would either say when I told him a lie, “I heard that story before…that is what I told my dad and he did not believe me either,” or the ever popular, “Boys will be boys… and dads will be dads. ” It was OK to be imperfect. There is a natural consequence. Jesus was perfect, but only quotes scripture to Satan and the Pharisees. Jesus knows human temptations. In the Navy in New York Harbor for the bicentennial, a gay sailor would always say when he saw others make mistakes, “Welcome to the human race.” God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are like this. The Trinity expects us to act like this.
James writes, “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? Faith without works is dead.”
Nation comes from Latin and shares the same root as nativity. Nation means, family, born together by common heritage. The extended family, the rest of nation and humanity, has a role in supporting the nuclear family. We make sure none hunger, thirst, lack adequate clothing, housing, healthcare, or transportation. We tell people who Jesus is, not by our words, but by our actions.