Sunday, July 24, 2016

Surrender (2016-07-24)

July 24, 2016,    /   17th Sunday, Year C    /

[Genesis 18:20-32,  Psalm ___,  Colossians 2:12-14, +Luke 11:1-13 ]

Title: “Surrender”

[__00__]   We read about the persistence of certain individuals in the Book of Genesis, about Abraham, about the persistence of Abraham before God, negotiating, praying for the people of the city of Sodom.

We read also about the persistence, the perseverance, of a person showing up in the parable, at midnight, to ask his friend for 3 loaves of bread.

This persistence, these individual negotiations have implications for all of us. They remind us, in the case of Abraham, that Abraham is praying for all the people of the city.

This reminds us to pray for others, to pray that God’s grace will be given to others, even to pray for the person we might be jealous of. Why not pray that God bless him or her even more?

[__01__]   In the parable, a visitor goes late at night to see a friend.  It is dark, it is midnight, his friend is asleep.  Will this request be granted?   
          What if were to receive such a visitor, caller?  Someone is calling at the door, on the phone, should we listen. Or, silence this caller, ignore?

[__02__]   Would you, would I, wish to wake up…or to be disrupted – day or night – by such a last minute request?
          Of course, this request causes discomfort and  inconvenience.
          And, discomfort and  inconvenience are reasons we might use to justify a rejection.  We might screen this call, this caller, drop the call, or ignore the text or email.
          Sorry…I did not get your message in time.

[__03__]    Yet, in the Gospel,Jesus offers reasons to receive the call, open the door, open the email and respond in the affirmative, to respond YES, positively.

[__03.01__]     The first reason is, perhaps, easy, simple, obvious.
FRIENDSHIP. We__surrender__ due to our own desire to maintain and bolster the friendship.
          For some people, we are pleased to help.  They may even, in the future, reward us, pay us back.

[__03.02__]     The second reason is the challenge to you and to me. The second reason is different.
          How do we regard the persistence, the perseverance of certain requests?
Of course, there are some –many – situations where NO is the loving response.

[__04__]             On the other hand, there are times when YES would be the loving response. 
          Consider the person from whom we have been hurt by some trespass… they have trespassed against us.
          The late-night or last-minute request may be one of repentance, of admission of guilt. This person may have, in fact, waited until the last posible moment to apologize, to admit wrongdoing.

The eleventh-hour request may be for pardon.

Also, we may discover in the darkness – literally or figuratively – that forgiveness is the only for you or for me to go back to sleep.

Surrender is Good News.

[__05__]             Or … consider the compromise we are asked to make for our spouse, a child, with  Mom  or Dad, with a friend, for a person who is ill, in advanced age.

Do we always equate surrender with defeat?

For example, isn’t it true that we can lose without being completely deprived?

          I think we would admit –accept that in a compromise… someone gains something..and someone loses something.   This is reality.

          For example, in marriage or family life, one person is called to give in, to surrender for the good of the other.

[__06__]     And, in marriage – husband and wife – the 1 man and 1 woman make promises not only out of friendship, out of affection, but also as an act of surrender and of perseverance, of persistence.

Through this parable, then, we read that Jesus is not only giving us an example of 1 individual giving something privately and invisibly to others.         Rather, could we not also say that many of the things we do – privately, individually, as spouses, as parents are being performed to benefit, to build up not only our home at our our address on Eagle Rock Ave, Valley Way, up the hill or down the hill, but rather we also do things in private for our children, for our spouses, because we believe it will benefit all of society.

In a recent essay about marriage,  Professor Robert George and his collaborators observes that marriage serves not only a private good but a public good … it serves this goods better than the government can.. for this reason, we pray for its protection.[1]

[__07__]     In the Good News of surrender, we are trying to keep in mind the love of God, the love of the other person…which rather than creating a division or competition, unites us in communion (communion) …and helps us gain a greater victory.[2]    [__fin__]     

[1] Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, Robert P. George, What is Marriage? New York: Encounter Books, 2012

[2] FYI -      [2] William of Thierry breviary, page 1764 __ let your question be a prayer, an expresión of love,and self-surrender to God.

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