You get in here this very minute."
Uh-oh! Mom or dad called me by my full name….
and that tone of voice
it can only mean one thing:
T R O U B L E
I think you younger people know what this spells:
time to face the music,
time to pay the piper.
When I was a youngster
and I heard my name being called in such a way
I remember saying to myself
"…what is it this time?
What did I do wrong now?
It seems that every time I turn around
I've done something wrong.
I can't seem to win.
If I do what my parents want….my friends get mad.
If I do what my friends want….my parents get mad.
It's a losing battle.”
it's hard being young today.
There's so much going on around you.
So much to choose from.
People pulling you in all kinds of directions.
It's hard to tell what's good from what's bad
It's hard to choose the right over the wrong.
no matter what you choose to do or say
you wind up in the hot seat.
We all want to be accepted, be part of the crowd.
When with friends…
and one begins to trash someone,
makes fun of the way the other person looks or acts….
or….when a friend wants to go some place
your parents have declared out of bounds…
you get this feeling deep inside
a feeling that something's not right.
You know what's going on is wrong
but you're afraid to speak out,
afraid you'll be called a "goody-two-shoes,”
afraid the group will make fun of you,
afraid they won't like you anymore,
treat you like an outsider…
When you're young
it's hard to stick up for what is right.
It's hard being young today.
I want to let you young people in on a little secret.
Don't tell anybody.
"We grown-ups have the same problem!"
Grown-ups have trouble choosing what is right over what is wrong.
Grown-ups have people pulling them in all kind of directions.
Grown-ups want to be liked and accepted and be part of the crowd.
And when one of our friends starts trashing someone,
we hear a little voice deep within telling us something is wrong
but like you youngsters
we grown-ups are afraid to say anything…
don't want to cause any waves
afraid our friends won't approve of us any more.
It's just as hard being a grown-up today
as it is being a young person.
It is particularly hard for grown-ups to choose to do the good
when it involves telling another grown-up "you're wrong".
Our world and society
promotes and highly values individualism…
to each their own…
you do what you want
let me do what I want.
You don't bother me and I won't bother you.
On the downside of this philosophy
many have come to believe that if we ignore evil
if we ignore what's wrong instead of confronting it
it will go away.
But it doesn't…..and it won't.
I think you youngsters are lucky to have parents
to tell you what you might be doing wrong.
If I went to England,
and didn't know they drive their cars
on the opposite side of the road…
and I was driving down the wrong lane of traffic
I'd want someone to tell me I was wrong.
If I didn't know I was on the wrong side
and nobody told me
I could get hurt real bad…even killed
or do the same to someone else.
Your parents correct you
because they love you
and only want what's best for you.
They want you to grow up to be healthy and happy…
want you to drive through life
on the correct side of the road.
You may not understand now…but in the future
you'll probably see all the accidents
your parents helped you avoid.
You're fortunate to have someone who cares enough
to set you on the right path.
We may not like being told
we may not like being corrected when we're young
but some day, we're old enough to leave home.
Our parents don't come with us.
They're not looking over our shoulders
to tell us when we're wrong…
to help point out we're on the wrong side of the road.
most grown-ups don't want someone else telling them
how to drive down the road of life…
don't want any back-seat drivers.
As a result,
many of us get headed in the wrong direction…
get on the wrong roads,
roads that will eventually hurt us real bad.
I think Jesus knew:
many grown-ups don't live with their parents any longer…
don't have someone to tell them they're wrong
to get back on the right track.
(Though sometimes spouses assume this role)
That's why he reminds us:
help each other by correcting one another.
As mature Christians,
this is one of our responsibilities.
Not to correct and point out each other's faults to get even
to get revenge
but to do so in and through love.
We are to correct one another
because we love one another
and we only want what's best
for the person we are correcting.
Before correcting another, however,
we need to authenticate and verify our conviction.
It would do little good
to direct someone
to replace one mistaken idea or belief
This whole correction thing can be scary at times.
It's a risk Jesus asks us to take.
But we need not do it alone.
Jesus assures us:
"if we join together in prayer
I will be with you
and help you do what needs to be done."
throughout this week,
throughout the rest of our lives
let us join together and pray…
pray for the courage to correct one another
in and through love, patience and kindness.
We have the responsibility to reach out to others for their own good.
In many cases…
if we don't
no one else will either.
And that means TROUBLE!
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time