Do not be afraid. I do not know how many times this phrase, or phrases like it are in the bible, but according to one source it is 70. I do not know whether this is true, but I do know that time and again the bible encourages us not to be afraid.
You warned me God. You still warn me. You let me know time and again how important it is to listen to you. But I do not. I turn away. I sin.
Can you imagine a Fortune 500 Company making a list of qualities for a CEO and using words like meek? Peacemaker? Poor in Spirit? I cannot imagine that would happen. But the cost of ignoring the Beatitudes is higher than we might think. When we follow them, we are indeed blessed.
Today we recall the great truth about our God. Three persons. One God. Trinity. And there is no point trying to explain it. We only know this truth about God because God revealed it to us.
Proclaim the word. These are the words of an evangelist, one who is committed to the proposition that knowing Jesus is more important than anything else.
I remember a homily one time where the priest said something like this: “If the gospel does not make you uncomfortable at times, then perhaps you have never heard the gospel.”
There may not be many of you who know Saint Peter of Verona, sometimes called Saint Peter Martyr. He is no longer celebrated in the Church calendar, but the Dominican Order still celebrates him on their calendar, and his feast day is today, June 4.
There is a tendency in our country today to refute anything we disagree with by mocking the argument. We express the opinion we do not hold by referring to the most ridiculous version of it. That is what the Sadducees did in today’s gospel. Questioning to arrive at truth is the goal of true seeking.
The challenges of the gospel are bold. The way of life demanded of us if we are to follow Jesus are not easy. And becoming a follower of Jesus requires that we are “all in”, that is, that we dedicate our lives in imitation of his.
I grew up in one of the whitest states in the United States. In fact, I believe for much of my childhood it was the whitest state in the United States. As I think back over my school days, the only person of color I remember in my school was a foreign exchange student from South Africa. Interestingly, it was in the days when South Africa still had the Apartheid system. He was colored, not black, because his ancestors came from India.