Father Nathan Homily | July 19, 2020
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
– MT 13:9
There have been always two views of the church down the centuries…one is exclusive and the second is inclusive. The exclusive view holds that the church is for good people, for the fully committed. In the inclusive view, the church must be open to all, to the hot, to the cold and to the lukewarm, to the saints and sinners.
Saints and Sinners
For some, the presence of sinners in the church is a cause of scandal. If they had their way, only saints would be admitted
The issue of sinners in the church was a big issue for the early church too. So we need to learn how they approached the issue? Some were weeding sinners out. But others turned to the example of Jesus for guidance.
First of all, they had his practice to guide them. Not only did he not exclude sinners, but he also welcome. He declared that he had come, not to call the just, but sinners for repentance. … Then they had his teaching to guide them. The parable about the field in which wheat and weeds grow together until the harvest was a response to this very question.
Human beings are extremely very complex. They cannot be divided into the good and the bad, as though they were two completely separate classes of people. There is no line you can draw which would neatly separate the good from the bad. Any such line would go right through each human heart, for there is good and evil in every heart to different degrees. Please remember bad is not God that gave to us, it’s the culture and community passed it on to us.
All of us are a mixture of good and bad. The people we call so-called ‘GOOD’ may have terrible things in them like mad moods recklessness, assertion, jealously, sin. And the so-called ‘BAD’ people may have in them sorrow, repentance, pity, and sacrifice…
So what should we do? As far as ourselves care concerned, the best thing we can do is to take a good look into our own felid. If we find some weeds there, no doubt we will, there is no law against trying to get rid of them by ourselves. If we try to do so, we will discover what a painful process this is.
Learn from the Example of Jesus
As far as others concerned, we should try to act towards them as Jesus acted. It is NOT strange that he who had no trace of weed in him could be so understanding towards those failed to measure up? Why did not he weed out Judas? And why did not weed out peter? He saw the weeds in peter’s life, but he saw the wheat too. He knew that with encouragement the wheat would prevail. And it did.
The church can do no better than its founder. It has to be big enough and loving enough to hold the sinners in the fold. If it did not do so, it would not be the church of Christ.
The suggestion to root out the weeds would seem to make a lot of sense, and indeed it had often been tried. Many governments have tried it in fighting the terrorists. Through attractive, it not a Christian solution, or not even a human one as well.
A church that admitted only saints would make about as much sense as a hospital that admitted only people who are well, or a repair shop that accepted only things that are whole. The church is not a museum for saints, but a school for sinners.
The church is a temple with a hundred gates, and pilgrims enter from every angle. Through every door, and from all kinds’ paths, we enter the house of God on a Sunday morning. Ours is not a church for those who feel good, but for those who know they are not.
God is a lot more tolerant than we are. Today’s first reading says of the God
‘you are lenient to all…mild in your judgment… you govern with great lenience…
While we distinguish clearly between good and evil, we must aim at being as understanding and tolerant as God is. The time for judgment is not yet. The kingdom of God is still at the growing stage. Now is the time for conversion. People can change and we can change. Amen…
Have a Blessed Week,
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
Prayerful greetings to you. We celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. Since it falls on Saturday this year, it is NOT a holy day of obligation, or else it is. The Feast of The Assumption is one of the most important feasts of our Lady.
From the Desk of Father Nathan | July 5, 2020A Message from Father NathanHappy 4th of July! My dearest people who are all close to my heart Thank you I wanted to personally thank you all for your support and cooperation who are rendering the church. Thank you. God...