Christ The Servant Church
homily month 2017
Homily for march 05, 2017
Lent Sunday Homily March 5…Two messages today that resonate…Following Jesus to the Cross. Faith and Food!
What a difference it makes how we answer the same question! On their journey to Jerusalem, Jesus asks the squabbling disciples, "What do you want me to do for you?" They answer him, "Grant us to sit on your right and left hand" (Mark 10:36-37). A few days later, Jesus is accosted with the shouts of the discriminated against, disenfranchised blind beggar, Bartimaeus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asks him, and he replies, "Teacher, let me see again" (Mark 10:51).
Jesus cannot answer the request of the disciples, because they are seeking self-aggrandizement and the power that goes with it. Jesus can help Bartimaeus, on the other hand, because he understands the true nature of his condition: He is blind.
One of the "last" has become "first," and those who might reasonably have thought themselves first—we who "have left everything and followed"—have become "last."
In a world whose values are almost permanently topsy-turvy, people with integrity, uncontaminated by the self-seeking of the world, are usually the disregarded, the discriminated against. To choose to live life in the way of God, despite the worst the systems can throw at us, requires opened eyes. It calls for us to move beyond the simplistic condemnation and blaming of God that so often mark discipleship under pressure.
Food is a social good. Throughout history, people have used food to express hospitality. Christ’s ministry was no exception. Yet Jesus’ table etiquette subverted all the ways in which we commonly create distinctions among food, people, or places at the table. Jesus took his faith into the company of tax collectors and sinners, of thieves and criminals, of the forsaken. He even took his faith into the silence of the dead, to invite all—anyone and everyone—to the marriage supper of the lamb.
There are no distinctions at Christ’s table: no us and them, up and down, in and out, greater and lesser. But this way of seeing, living, and eating does not come naturally. It is a pattern of relating that has to be learned. The prevalence and persistence of hunger in our world demonstrates the scale of the learning curve that we face. Clearly, too many have been excluded in all sorts of ways from the common table. It seems that each generation of the church must learn the subversive table etiquette of the banquet.
It is clear that our food choices, individually and collectively, are killing us. The path of life offered by Christ is not removed from time or history. We pray that we might be fully awake, attentive, and mindful of the choices we make this day, in all the particularities of our place and calling, that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Our food choices matter. Indeed, they are the difference between life and death, just as in the original garden. As Jesus encouraged his disciples at his last supper with them: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17). And so each day we pray: Lord, give us—all of us, this very day—our daily bread, the bread that is you, the bread that in our lives can become nourishment for all!
Reflection and Action…If Jesus were to ask, "What do you want me to do for you?" how would you answer? My prayer for us is the Bread of Faith and Life!