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Homily For Ordinary 31 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D

     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.

Malachi 1:14 - 2:2,8-10; I Thessalonians 2:7-9,13; Matthew 23:1-12

We Christians take pride in calling ourselves the People of God,
a Priestly People. Is this an honour or a responsibility?

Thirty years ago, walls were painted with graffiti and the text:
"Have we not all one Father?"  Those were the heady days of blue
jeans, unisex clothes and democractic structures in the
universities.  Students all over the world took their cue from
the Paris Student revolution of 1968.  Those were the days of the
anti-Vietnam war campaign.  Those were the days of John Lennon
and Paul McCartney.  Those were the days when formality was
thrown overboard and informality was prized.  That generation is
probably fully conformed today.

Are today's readings trying to tell us that there should be no
differences among us?  Are today's readings trying to tell us to
drop all titles and honours?  Is no one to be addressed as: Sir?
Nothing could be more utopic than such a hope.

Actually, all such titles and polite forms are to remind each of
us of our specific responsibilities in society.  Each of us has a
name, an identity and a personality.  That is for sure.

But do we stop there? 

Today's readings remind us that whatever we are and have is not
simply a birthright.  Today's readings remind us that whatever we
are and have, are gifts given to us by God, a loving Father.  And
not only that, everything we are and have, is very much the
generosity and care of loving neighbours.

St. Francis of Assisi ceaselessly reminded his friars that if
they could boast about anything as their own, it was their sins.
Do we catch the point?  Use everything we are and have in a way
that brings glory to God and His family. 


copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 1999  2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.

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