Two-Minute Homily by Fr Paul Kelly for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023.
“We are God’s people, not because we have earned it, not because we deserve it, not because we are worthy in ourselves, but simply because God loves us.”
- Two-Minute Homily Transcript
Two-Minute Homily TranscriptAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
We are God’s own beloved children. We are called, loved and embraced, cherished. We are God’s people, daughters and sons of God, not because we have earned it, not because we deserve it. Not because we are worthy in ourselves, but simply because God loves us. It is God, overflowing with generous love, who calls us to himself.
Initially Jesus’ call is to go out to the recognised children of Israel. The ones God first took as his own, after all, first things first. Later, however, due to God’s limitless love, this invitation would be expanded to include all peoples and all nations. God has so much love, there’s always room for yet one more. And so on.
There is so much noise and busyness in our world today, so many conflicting voices. Different worldly values, many which directly contradict each other. The many, many people in the world near and far, are very much like harassed lambs. The Lord says, go out to them show them my love, invite them into my pastures. It is heart breaking. How do people make sense of things amongst so much clamour?
In the first reading the place called “Rephidim” means resting place. Place of refreshment, a place of support. Here Moses, only with God’s grace, won the battle against the Amalakites, and his tired uplifted arms need to be supported by Aaron and Hur, ironically he is supported in the place named “support”. Here also, the people thirsted and lost trust in God, but God still refreshed them with streams of water from a rock. God loves us, God wants to give us our desires and needs primarily God does this through the kindness and love shown by his children to one another through and from our brothers and sisters around us.
The harvest is indeed plentiful, and there is so much work to be done, but the workers are few. Only by God’s grace can achieve the success against all these overwhelming demands. We might ask, who am I to go out and do this work of living and proclaiming the message of Jesus? The answer is simply this, God loves us and it’s God who’s called us. God commissions us to do His work, not by our merit! God calls us with love and we respond with love.
So, each of us go out in mission; not very far afield either. Our familiar territory is also in dire need of God’s guidance, God’s loving message. So we go in mission back to our homes, our workplaces, our social situations and the wider community. As the gospel shows us, we achieve this mission primarily by “doing” and some explanatory speaking. Actions more than words. We do all sort of acts of kindness, compassion, healing, mercy and practical help. And with the powerful witness of selfless-service, not for my own personal gain. But after the example of the Good Shepherd.