A story is told of a young boy in an Israeli airport who ran ahead of his father, and when the father caught up with him, he scolded his son. The father reminded the son that even though the father’s tone was severe he was still to address him as 'Abba,' using a word of respect that has come down to us this day; as a word of authority, intimacy.
In a homily I gave earlier in the week I mentioned that sometimes commercials come to mind when I begin to think about a homily. Well today when St. Paul was telling some Romans not to let sin into their lives, I thought of a commercial that features creepy crawly creatures that delight in having free range over us until one spray and they are gone. What would it be like if we could do this with sin? But it is not that easy.
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I’m always intrigued by what comes to mind when I begin to reflect on the Scriptures and prepare a homily. Sometimes it is a memorable commercial. Capital One a bank uses the catchy phrase, "What's in your wallet?"
Have you ever watched a news program with a crowd surrounding a prominent individual shouting questions at him as they were walking? "Mr. President, did you see those polls?" Sometimes there is an exchange, but sometimes the politician or person in the limelight says nothing, looking straight ahead.
I was trying to find the contact information for a nun who did some restoration work at the Father Peyton Center, on a Mary statue on site that had developed a crack. I recalled her being affiliated with a religious group and inquired if they knew how I could contact her. The person who gave me her information wanted to discuss the Museum of Family Prayer, here at the Father Peyton Center.
God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to a sinful nation. Jonah then ran away from this responsibility, but eventually returned, and Jonah was instrumental in getting the Ninevites to repent. Instead of finding satisfaction in his accomplishment, he was angry that God did not punish the Ninevites for the life they used to live.