The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

33rd Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Sat, 11/19/2016
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Jesus wins….for the moment.  He wins the current debate with his opponents.
And like all previous debates, all previous conflicts with the religious leaders of his time,
Jesus wins without the use of violence.
 
The questions he is asked, the conundrums placed before him, the challenges…
all meant to trip him up, meant to expose him as a fraud, meant to turn the people against him…
through these Jesus reveals who he is:  the eternal Son of God….
possessing knowledge of things beyond human comprehension.
 
And Jesus does more than just defend himself.
His approach is often offensive.  He goes on the attack.
He brings to light and then confronts error and ignorance.
He penetrates deep into the hearts and minds of his opponents…
he uncovers their hypocrisy, their pride, their greed, their shallowness,
their lack of compassion, their corruption, their arrogance, their unfaithfulness.
Jesus sees what is hidden within;  he sees their sin.
His intention is not to destroy them, but to save them.  He calls them to repentance.
 
Jesus disarms his opponents with spiritual force and spiritual power and spiritual authority.
His weapons are truth, wisdom, justice, goodness, mercy and love.
These combined with his faith and confidence in the life-giving power of God allows Jesus to prevail.
 
In all this, his purpose is not necessarily to show himself superior.
His purpose is to teach.  His purpose is to reveal.
His purpose is to redirect the human heart/mind away from sin; to instruct the people in the ways of God.
 
The controversy in today’s gospel has to do with our eternal future.
We are people who believe that there is life beyond the grave.  What will that life be like?
The human imagination conjures up possibilities based on experience in this world.
Heaven is like a kingdom where God’s love and goodness reigns.
In this kingdom, evil and sin and death are no more.
Beyond this, we try to fill in the blanks of what is hoped for.
But we must remember, what we envision, what we imagine, is speculation at best.
One day we will see for ourselves,
but in the meantime we find life and meaning and purpose in the present.
God’s life-giving power is at work in the present.
 
In this age of technology we tend to glory in human ingenuity and invention.
We start looking for fulfillment, happiness, satisfaction in and through
what human beings have created;  and we put our hopes in what human beings will create.
Even if a cure for cancer is found….such a discovery preserves earthly life but it is not salvation.  Everyone will still die.  Everyone will still have to confront what human death brings.
 
What is truly life-giving has been and will always be…what God has created.
To live according to God’s order of things…this is where true happiness and fulfillment are found.
What truly sustains that which is life-giving is what God provides.
There will be no machines in heaven.
We must guard against becoming slaves to technology;  and worse, we must guard against becoming mechanical at the cost of losing our humanity.
 
Our prayer today:  “O Lord, inspire us to seek and embrace truth, wisdom, justice, goodness, mercy and love.  With these, help us to prevail over the temptations of our day, especially the temptation to believe that human ingenuity can overcome sin.  Amen!”