Sunday, October 28, 2018

First Mass: Peggy Alderman ARCWP in Home Church, Homily by Mary Weber ARCWP on Oct. 27th, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Indianapolis, Indiana

At left is Peggy Alderman ARCWP, newly ordained priest in Indianapolis, Indiana presiding at home liturgy

Homily by Mary Weber ARCWP
10-28-18 Jeremiah 31-7-9 Mark 10-46-52
Jeremiah 31:7-9

In Jeremiah we read: “The blind and the lame will be among them, along with expectant mothers and women in labor. They will return in vast numbers. They will return weeping and praying. I will guide them in my mercy.”  As I read this reference to the Israelites, my thoughts immediately turned to the large caravan of people walking from South America hoping to find refuge and asylum in the United States. I do not know if there are any blind or lame in that group, but they may be blindsided by what awaits them at our border: National Guard as well as military troops. There may be by standers yelling go back, you are not welcomed here. Has our country been blinded by the darkness of hate, divisiveness and the demonization of others? Regardless of your personal position on illegal immigration, we must as Christians speak out against cruelty and violence to those sisters and brothers who are seeking safety and freedom from fear. We must rise up for the children who have been separated from their families. We must find ways to change the policies that harm the integrity of the family unit and disrespect those seeking asylum.
Mark 10: 42-56
In Mark’s gospel we meet a blind beggar, Bartimaeus. He cries out to Jesus “have pity on me” and the crowd scolds him and tells him to be quiet.  He is not daunted, he shouts even louder “Jesus have pity on me”. Now let’s look at this crowd, ordinary people who up until now were harassing Bartimaeus. When Jesus steps up to help him, the crowd says to Bartimaeus “Don’t be afraid” Notice the change of heart in the crowd “Don’t be afraid, get up, Jesus is calling you.” This is the same group who tried to shut him up and shut him down. What happened to soften their hearts and to embrace him as one of their own? Here is a man at the margins, dirty and despised, alienated and disdained. At their encouragement Bartimaeus jumps up and goes to Jesus and his blind eyes are opened. It seems to me that the blindness of the crowd is lifted as well. Notice the role of this community in this healing? Do you see it? What can we take away from this story?  
                                   Mary Weber, ARCWP

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