Homily – Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year B

During the week I celebrated with students in Year 3 who received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the very first time.  It was an occasion for those involved to reflect on the word “Reconciliation.” It may seem outside the cycle of the liturgical season when we consider Lent and Advent as times when we focus more intently in preparing for what is to come. As we return to Ordinary Time, since Pentecost, reconciliation seems to have taken a back seat. The work of reconciliation, however, never ends, it works in season and out of season, for all seasons.

Reflection is often helpful using our imagination. The image that comes to my mind is of something that has been fractured, broken, disjointed, forced apart. To put the pieces together where they belong create the original image, of being together, connected, restored to its shape. I find the word “wholeness” as one word to describe this Sacrament.

The fragmented pieces are examples of hurt inflicted on us which can take various shapes and forms. Only the person who has been “trespassed” against knows the magnitude of their pain. When it comes to pain, the imagery of broken pieces doesn’t do justice to a brokenness which goes beyond the physical, to where it is deep within. Pain needs to be cared for and handed in the best possible way so that healing may be possible.

Our First Reading from the book of Genesis tells the story of the first human fracture. The question of whose fault is it? No one wants the pain of being at fault, shamed, or ridiculed nor do we want to be in the moment for a long time. Does it say something about human nature?  Is it in our human nature that we might be quick to blame and slow to pause and even forgive?

Adam and Eve hid themselves from God for fear of being judged and so withdraws and make themselves hidden. The only dialogue they made with God was to point the finger. I am sure God knows the story. It was a matter of how they responded to the situation. The Gospel tells us, nothing is beyond the mercy of God “all sins are forgiven”. The Psalmist understands this, “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” Wholeness and healing don’t mean that we return to how it was before, but a new way forward. With this in mind, we may become people who are slow to blame and quick to forgive.

Fr Hoang Dinh


Published: 7 June 2024






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