Sermon 20th Sunday

20thSunday of the Year ( C ) 2019

Jesus speaks of a family of five:  Father & Son, Mother & Daughter, daughter in law & mother in law are divided.  This means the Father and Mother are united; and the son & his wife are united. … Glad someone is!

Most families experience some kind of division. Sometimes due to the in-laws but not always. Long before in-laws come on the scene siblings can fall out. How many funerals and weddings have I been to where one member of the family hasn’t been invited. Too many. 

What causes these divisions: there can be several reasons: but you will find the root of the problem is pride. Someone insulted me and I won’t forgive them. And that goes on for years. What was once a fall out can, over the years, become a chasm dividing siblings and friends. Sometimes the division has lasted so long that no one can remember what the original problem was. 

The Christian is someone who tries to mend divisions. This takes humility and a lot of courage. Humility is the opposite of pride, which is why it is such a precious virtue. The Christian will be one who is willing to say sorry. Now there can be nothing harder in life than saying sorry to someone  you have offended or who has offended you. Our pride will fight against this. It will argue: why should I? I didn’t start it? Let him or her come to me why should I go to them?  It wasn’t my fault it was theirs. … and so on. There is always a reason why I shouldn’t say sorry.  

The problem is that in all relationships we will make mistakes. No one gets it right all the time. As a Christian I must be prepared to acknowledge my mistakes and if I have offended someone then I should ask for forgiveness. Also, if someone asks my forgiveness I should readily accept it. Surely a good marriage, a good friendship, will grow when people ask for forgiveness. I know that when someone says sorry to me they shoot up in my estimation. 

If we don’t say sorry then we will have that kind of family Christ spoke of in the gospel; a terribly divided family. And what kind of example is that to others? Children will grow in love and confidence when they not only hear their parents say they love each other, but also when they ask forgiveness of each other. What a wonderful example this is to the children.  A family home is like a school: it is there that children are prepared for the future, and particularly for future relationships.  

Don’t let pride destroy your family relationships. In a good Christian home you will hear the word ‘love’ said often, but you will also hear the word ‘sorry’. The Church and the world need the example of a good Christian marriage. 

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