34th Sunday, Christ King Year C •• 2 Samuel 5:1-3 •• Psalm 122 •• Colossians 1:12-20 •• Luke 23:35-43 ••
[__01__] How to be more appealing
Father Ronald Knox, in a sermon called “Jesus My Friend” gives an example of a schoolgirl / schoolboy whose style of speaking and writing are similar to the teacher.
That is, the young student finds his or her teacher appealing and imitates the teacher.
Do we not also learn to communicate by finding what is appealing in those around us.
And, by the way.. OMG … we may find “appeal” in words or actions that are not necessarily good for us.
[__02__] An “appeal” may cause us to prefer (like) one product or person or idea more than another.
Sometimes, “appeal” is superficial or based on appearance.
This is true in our friendships, our relationships, as well.
Father Ronald Knox – Ronald Knox – observes that human friendships can waver, can falter.
One of the great appeals – or strengths – of a friend is his or her endurance, loyalty, consistency.
In the book of Sirach, we read about the value – and “treasure” of friendship --
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.” (Sirach 6:14)
[__03__] In the Gospel this Sunday, we read about the appeal and the friendship between Jesus, crucified, and the thief also crucified.
The Lord welcomes the appeal, the request of the thief on the cross.
The Lord also wants us to be appealing.. to appeal to him.
Are we appealing? Am I appealing? Are you appealing?
In this regard, I’m not reflecting on physical presentation to others but on the presence of God in us, in our midst.
Am I appealing to God each day for my needs? My petitions?
Do I appeal – in prayer - … when things are going wrong … do I give up?
[__04__] The thief on the cross gives an example of enduring appeal, of one unafraid to make a request that would seem too late.
[__05__] FRIENDSHIP - Friendship – as Ronald Knox writes – can either inspire us or drag us down.
Sometimes, we make choices based only on superficial appeal – height/weight, clothing, appearances.
We may follow certain ideas – or friends – only because they have immediate appeal or popularity.
[__06__] Are we – are you and I – however – also open the appeals which God makes to us through the Gospel, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – through our consciences…. Even through our relationships?
If we live by only superficial standards or immediate comfort / convenience, then we might be only trying to receive/gain favor, or to give someone a favor ….
But, real and lasting friendship is not based on the favors we exchange or do for each other.
We perform favors, expecting payback.
Jesus, however, asks us to be in a relationship – enduring/permanent – that is not based on favors.
Rather, he gives us “appeals” .. not “favors”. God wants us to be more appealing.
God wants us not to do favors but to listen to his truth, his appeal.
Sometimes, we are invited to serve – to sacrifice - ..this is an appeal.
The Lord wants us to be more appealing
In our love of God and love of neighbor, the Lord’s friendship – and our faith in the Gospel – also enables us to be more appealing. [__fin__]