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September 7th 2014 A.D., Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Catholic Homilies

September 7th 2014 A.D.

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

"If your brother sins against you"

Matthew 18:15-20

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Background:

Today’s story has a heavy theological overlay. It addresses directly  an issue which is no longer with us whether there was room in the church for gentiles and indirectly a question which will always be with us, the problem of diversity.

The story is vivid enough that we have no solid reason to doubt that Jesus did perform a healing for a gentile woman. However it is unlikely that the dialogue occurred the way it is written.

Probably the author of the Gospel wanted to make the point that faith was not limited to Jews but gentiles had it too. The lesson for us is that we cannot draw lines which set borders to God’s love.

Fr. Greeley's Last Book:Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church

00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

Once upon a bunch of teenagers had to go to wedding. Now they were not bad human beings for teenagers, you know. The only thing was that their male cousin who was the groom was marrying a young woman who was Greek. Well, she wasn’t Greek exactly, she was some kind of Polish woman, though people said that the Church was Greek Catholic.

This made no sense at all to our young friends. There was only one kind of Catholic – Roman Catholic and all Poles were Roman Catholic, weren’t they? Right! Then they went into the Church and were horrified. It wasn’t anything like their own parish church. There were some geeky paintings of people who looked like they were frozen and lots of candles and a big screen in front of the altar. It got worse. The priests came out and they wore very funny clothes and odd hats and talked a very strange language. Is that Greek? They asked their father. No it’s Slavonic. What? Are they Protestants?

No, they’re Byzantine Catholics. What’s that? Well it’s another name for Constantinople. That’s a long way here, said one very smart mouth young woman who knew a little geography, which is almost against the rules in high school these days.  Well they misbehaved something terrible, asking questions and giggling and nudging one another. The bride’s family pretended they didn’t hear them. But they did. Several times one of them said in a stage whisper, These people aren’t real Catholics are they. When they left church their mother said to them, you guys are just a bunch of shanty Irish bigots. They thought that was a compliment.

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September Homilies: 7th | 14th | 21st | 28th
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These people aren’t real Catholics are they. When they left church their mother said to them, you guys are just a bunch of shanty Irish bigots. They thought that was a compliment
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Psalm 95:1-9

1 O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!
8 Harden not your hearts, as at Mer‘ibah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 when your fathers tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.

 

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Chicago Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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Why Stay Catholic?
Catholic publishing eminence Leach asks, and answers, a good question that the nation’s second largest non-congregation – the church of ex-Catholics poses.
This book has a chapter about Fr. Greeley and is dedicated to him. Great read!
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