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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2011 > Sermon 528 : Be Perfect : 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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John Schwab
The Sunday after 9/11/2001, our pastor at Holy Spirit parish in New Orleans, Msgr Alan Roy, spoke about this gospel as it related to the general feeling of hatred for Muslims given the heinous attacks of a few days earlier. Fr Roy told us in no uncertain terms that we must, as hard as it was going to be, love these enemies who turned America and its citizens on their heels. What an impossible task it seemed at the time.

Fr. Barron's talk puts Fr. Roy's homily in even better perspective ten years later. I found then, and even to this day, extreme difficulty in putting into practice the words of Jesus vis a vis enemies who wish us harm and even death, that we must "will the good of the other" regardless of what that other might have done to us. I know from both Fr Roy and Fr Barron what I must do and pray hard that the Holy Spirit gives me the requisite strength to do it. But, as Fr Barron so rightly says, it isn't the easiest thing I have ever had to do. As always, Fr Barron's take on this gospel will help in my struggle to overcome the human emotion which drives me to allow continued resentment against Muslims for the actions of a radical few. May our God Who IS Love forgive me AND those who would wish us harm. May He bring us to a better understanding of how we can be more honest with our own love as we strive to imitate Jesus in loving all, whether just or unjust, expecting nothing in return.
2/15/2011 4:06:10 AM
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Joan Cancellare
Dear Father Barron
Thank you for this awesome teaching "Be Perfect". Scripture is so much more powerful when we look deeper into the meaning of Jesus Words in the Light of Old Testament understanding.
I only wish a priest would preach on this weeks Adultery question with the understanding of Jesus and that His Words are meant with love for women and not condemnation. I know too many women who have had to be divorced and think they have sinned. Some have left the Church.
Thank you for helping us to know the LOVE of JESUS.
Joan C
2/15/2011 8:59:31 AM
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Love entails suffering? This suffering for the sake of love can create/approximate perfection. A concept so fundamentally paradoxical it can only be understood in the experience of it.

The Covenant after Noah tells us that the unjust and just suffer rain. (In the context of the Old Testament rain was equated with suffering). Jesus changes the meaning of rain to mean/(include) love.

What is mercy? The perfection of love? The perfection of Justice? A combination?
2/15/2011 9:02:58 PM
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To clarify my last comment.

Rain is a blessing to a person whose livelihood depends on rain. However, to see the unjust reap the same "reward" as the just is a form of suffering to the just.

To me it is this experience of suffering while simultaenously experiencing God's love that Jesus is partly explaining.

In short, I believe Jesus wants us to participate with God by rewarding the wicked - not with a malelovent intent but with an intention, as Father Barron put it, to will their good. In other words, we are to say to them: I love you because God loves you. If they feel shame they would be too bad. In my humble opinion, they should feel loved from their Catholic Brother or Sister.
2/15/2011 10:11:06 PM
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Sorry for posting again.

I think Jesus is saying that in resisting evil, and in denying the wicked what they want one is committing an evil for one's self. Do not commit evil because your Brother or Sister does. Commit love. We love not for the reward it will get us in this life (because we will get no more than the unjust) but we love for the reward we will get in the next life. We should always keep an eye on the ball of what we desire and want: eternity with God.
2/15/2011 10:33:38 PM
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michael jaffray king
I have been reading all the comments and would just like to add.... The early Christians, who many a time were martyred, offered just such a non violent and loving response.
They through practicing exactly what Father Bob explains so well is what I believe brought down the Roman Empire's heathen worship..
Loving those and wishing only good towards those who are torturing you to death is the supreme example practiced by Christ for us on the cross.
2/16/2011 2:02:31 AM
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Walking the extra mile with Roman soldiers is understandable. Cooperating with one's enemy, in this example, is not a moral evil, wrong. It might be scandalous, but it seems to elicit more of an emotional reaction. However, how does one engage institutional evil as we encounter it today with the legalization of abortion and the acceptance of SSA unions. That requires creativity that I, for one, and also perhaps others, need help with in thinking through. Fr. Barron?
2/16/2011 11:11:20 AM
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Thank you Fr. barron for the new insights that are so enriching for my life as a Christian. You are used by God to touch the lives of people on how to approach God in a more pastoral and a saving way by aligning oneself to God's will. keep up the good work. May God give you long life to continue such marvelous gift received from the Lord. Kudos!
2/16/2011 8:09:16 PM
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Bonifacio Burlaza
You have awakened the faith of so many people. May God continue to give you his blessings and abundant graces to go on his mission in the hearts of millions. this is now the new evangelism that Pope John Paul II said. Kudos! Keep up the good work.
2/16/2011 8:13:51 PM
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As usual another excellent homily. Thank you Fr. Barron Your voice is so soothing it brings me such peace.. Like listening to Jesus talk to me..
2/17/2011 9:55:32 AM
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As per the Gospel reading a couple of Sunday's ago, if the world is made up of a finite number of grains of salt, I believe Father Robert will be one of it. Though it's very obvious you are tackling with a monumental battle of evangelizing in today's culture, you are very much enabled in pointing out the gist of our Catholic Faith which brings us to standing up for our Faith as we know it through your imparted wisdom; surely a grace from God.

Listening to your sermon today, certainly reminds us that the more we know God's message through the scripture readings, the more it helps us understand the whole purpose of our being and that is to "Be Perfect" as God who is Our Father is Perfect. Regardless of the consequences brought upon by the demands of this world, if we keep ourselves rooted in Christ, we'll thrive in His Love. As in Philippians 4:8, "In conclusion, my brothers, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable."

May God Continue To Richly Bless Us All!
2/18/2011 9:13:27 PM
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albet arockiasamy
I will encourage everyone to watch a DVD on the Imam and the Pastor. wonderful historical witnessing to love the other as person who is created in t5he image of God.
2/19/2011 12:48:43 AM
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Fr. Bosco R Mumbai
sermon 528 was very insightful.
Very insipring though demanding.
2/19/2011 4:57:55 AM
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I want to thank Father Barron for emphasing the engagement of love or loving engagment that is required from each Catholic. To convert the other through love.

One must engage the homosexual and pro-abortion person in dialogue. One must talk to the homosexual about the ordering of our passions and the pro-abotion person about the sanctity of life. One should not resist the conversation. Furthermore, these two sins are not directed at the homosexual person him or herself or society in general. Homosexuality does affect another person as does abortion affect a baby. So unlike the examples Jesus gave whereby the sin was done against one-self (turning the other cheek), these sins are directed to others. The homosexual should consider how his or her actions impact the other person they are with just as the person who is pro-abortion should consider the impact of their actions on the baby.

We have to go another teaching by Jesus to see how we should act in these situations and confront these individuals, I am thinking Jesus's reaction to those who turned the temple into marketplace would be an appropriate reaction to the pro-abortionist and homosexual person desiring to get married in the Church.

Engaging sin is indeed difficult but is possible.
2/19/2011 8:54:40 AM
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I don't know, Father. It's very hard for me to wrap both my head and my heart around this one. The times I have attempted to do as Jesus did, such internal anxiety and angst and unrest within me was generated (although on the outside one would probably not pick up on this), that it affected my own internal peace filled life . . . where was grace? perhaps I was not mature enough to be aware of God's gift of grace . . . how to tune in to this so as to not become knotted up and gnarled within while attempting to walk along on the journey? Thank you for trying to help us along.
2/20/2011 11:07:09 AM
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I want to clarify my last post.

The difference in Jesus' teachings on how to confront sin rests on a distinguishing between when one is the target of the sin and when one witnesses sin being committed against another.

When the sin is committed against ourselves we are called to turn the other cheek.

When we witness a sin committed against another (as in homosexuality and abortion) we are called to challenge the sinner and to admonish them not to sin.

I think there is some practical wisdom in this advice as well. When sin is being committed against oneself it would be unwise to try to admonish the sinner as it might simply raise the level of the sinner's aggression.
2/21/2011 9:56:13 PM
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Antony Dexen
kindly send me every Sunday sermons. Thanks. God bless u.
2/22/2011 10:13:02 AM
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I have listened to this sermon about 4 times now. Each time it gets better and I hear something new each time.

This one is a keeper. Downloading this one.
2/22/2011 6:21:34 PM
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Sonia Sava
God bless you Father for sharing your faith with us.
7/25/2011 12:05:01 AM
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So often friends and family come with endless stories of wrongs and slights and grudges and hatreds--great and small. So often one sees these thoughts and feelings welling up within one's self. Surely, nothing delights the devil more, and nothing grieves the Lord more than our easy willingness to submit to hate and resentment. Without His help, however, we are powerless over these common but deadly stumbling blocks. May our hearts be open to God's healing Love, and may we witness that Love in relationship--even and especially when it is most difficult to do.
11/3/2011 4:53:05 PM
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