HOMILY FOR AUGUST 30, 2020
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
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Scripture Readings at Mass Sunday, August 30, 2020
What to listen for in today’s Bible readings
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew chapter 16, Jesus speaks to his disciples about his inevitable passion, death, and resurrection. Therein, Jesus speaks to the reality of suffering that accompanies authentic discipleship. This theme is introduced in the first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah, especially the last paragraph. As you read Peter’s response to suffering, ask yourself: How do you feel about suffering?
This weekend's message in one sentence:
There is hope in suffering, not despite suffering
A. We have much to be grateful for
1.5 million: Number of people displaced or evacuated because of Hurricane Laura
910,000: Total number of customers who lost electricity during the storm
150 mph: Maximum sustained winds at landfall
65 mph: Increase of maximum sustained winds within a single 24-hour period; Hurricane Laura is tied for the fastest-intensifying storm on record in the Gulf of Mexico
938 millibars: Hurricane Laura’s minimum central pressure at landfall; third lowest in Louisiana history
15 feet: Recorded storm surge at landfall. Consider this: Water weighs 8.4 pounds per gallon (multiplied by) 15 foot tall storm surge (estimated 10 feet deep (multiplied by) 48 foot wide (average width of house/camp in Grand Isle) (equals) 60,480 pound wall of water moving at 15 MPH
$25 billion: Early estimates of damage due to Hurricane Laura
B. Common experience with suffering
We feel powerless
We feel trapped
We want to escape
We seek to blame
C. The most commonly asked question at a funeral: “Why?”
When we are out of control we instinctively grasp for something we can control, such as an answer.
Baptist Pastor Sonny Boyd: “If I had the answer to that question we’d still be at a funeral. You don’t really want an answer, you really want your son. An answer won’t give you that.”
D. God’s response
“Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly” (Matthew 16:13)
E. Suffering “versus” a God of love?
God does not need us. The only logical reason He made us is because He desires us.
You have to want to love in order to authentically love.
God freely chose to suffer. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.” (John 10:18)
God knows suffering. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15)
One’s capacity for suffering is directly proportionate to one’s capacity for authentic love.
F. Hope is more influenced by memory than it is experience
Remember, God is not bound by time. He sees our future when sometimes all we see is our present.
Remember, God is not bound b