Curated preaching illustrations and anecdotes from Fr. Tony Kadavil. NEW! Now with videos; Also includes Fr. Tony’s commentary, and Children illustrations/object sermons.
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Martin Luther King Jr. House Bombing (2:23) – On September 30, 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.’s house was bombed by segregationists in retaliation for the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
We Must Love Our Enemies
The conventional wisdom is that every homily should begin with a story to capture the congregation’s attention and to introduce the theme. Here is one example. Visit Fr. Tony’s website for a whole lot more.
On January 30, 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr. came home from a meeting to find his home had been bombed while his wife and children were inside. Crowds full of anger swarmed in the front yard. After a while, Dr. King came out to address the crowd. — This is what he said: “We are not advocating violence. We must love our enemies. What we are doing is just, and God will be with us.”
Central Theme of the Readings
The readings today are linked together by one main theme: the power of Christian love, when exercised in unconditional forgiveness. The readings also instruct us about our right and wrong choices. The right choices lead us to God, and the wrong ones break our relationship with Him and with one another.
Scripture Readings Summarized
The first reading shows us how David made the right choice, respecting God’s anointed king by forgiving his offenses, while Saul continued to make the wrong choices, perpetuating his own misery in seeking his revenge.
In the Responsorial Psalm, Ps 103, the Psalmist reminds us of the mercy of God and His compassion which we should practice in our choices.
In the second reading, St. Paul tells us how the “First Adam” made a wrong choice of disobedience, bringing death into the world, whereas Jesus, the “Second Adam,” made the right choice of fulfilling his Father’s saving plan for mankind by accepting acute suffering and heinous death.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 6:27-38) gives us Jesus’ revolutionary moral teaching about correct choices in our human relationships, based on the necessity of our following the “Golden Rule” and our obligation to behave like the children of a loving, forgiving, merciful, and compassionate Heavenly Father. Our relationships in our communities become truly Christian when we follow the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Jesus amplifies the golden rule by giving additional commands for us to follow as God’s children, by explaining Christian love: “Love your enemies…Do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you.” Jesus orders us to love our enemies and to be merciful and compassionate to everyone as God our Father is loving, merciful, and compassionate. He concludes by instructing us to stop judging others and start forgiving all who offend us.
Choose AS MANY AS TIME ALLOWS
1) We need to practice the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule asks us to do to others what we would like them do to us. If we obey, loving others and expressing that love by loving words and deeds, we will start receiving the same love from others in higher intensity. Further, if we want others to forgive our offenses, our words of criticism, and our thoughtless judgments against them, then we should start forgiving their offenses against us and start appreciating their good qualities while encouraging them and supporting them in their needs.
End of homily
Jokes of the Week
At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, placeS, OR CONGREGATIONS.
1: “Forgive Your Enemies” The preacher’s Sunday sermon was, “Forgive Your Enemies.” He asked, “How many have forgiven their enemies?” About half held up their hands. He then repeated the question. This time about eighty percent held up their hands. He then repeated his question a third time. The entire congregation held up their hands except one elderly lady. “Mrs. Jones,” the preacher asked, “aren’t you willing to forgive your enemies?” “I don’t have any” she replied. “That is very unusual”, the preacher said. “How old are you?” “Ninety-three.” “Mrs. Jones, please come to the front and tell the congregation how a person cannot have an enemy in the world.” The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle and said: “It’s easy; I just outlived all those rascals!”
2: The preacher and the doctor:There’s a story told of a husband and wife both of whom were doctors – one a Doctor of Theology and the other a Doctor of Medicine. When their doorbell was rung and the maid answered, the inquirer would often ask for “the doctor”. The maid’s interesting reply was: “Do you want the one who preaches or the one who practices?”
3: Irish prayer: There is an old Irish prayer that goes like this, “May God bless those who love us. And those who do not love us, may He turn their hearts. And if He does not turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we may know them by their limping.”
Fr. Tony started his homily ministry (Scriptural Homilies) in 2003 while he was the chaplain at Sacred Heart residence, applying his scientific methodology to the homily ministry. By word of mouth, it spread to hundreds of priests and Deacons, finally reaching Vatican Radio website (http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html). Fr. Tony’s homilies reach nearly 3000 priests and Deacons by direct email every week.
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