Saturday, November 19, 2011

Homily Watch: Donate Blood and Go to Heaven

This Sunday is the celebration of "Our Lord Jesus, Christ the King". It's the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Since we've been using the Gospel of Matthew, the year ends with a reading of the allegory of the sheep and goats.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,  and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’  And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’  Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Notice the Gospel follows the last two Sunday's readings that are concerned with judgement and the Endtimes as well. But instead of being cast out wailing and gnashing teeth, for some reason, this Gospel is a big ol' fuzzy muzzy wuzzy blanky that makes people feel good and redeemed. You collected some cans of soup for a food drive? Yay, you're going to heaven! You gave your old jacket to Goodwill? Heavenbound! You visited your girlfriend in the hospital? Somebody is going to Heaven...YOU!
Even if you don't believe in God or Heaven but do some nice stuff for people, you gotta go anyway! Kicking and screaming, God will wubu wubu wubuuuuuuuuuuu into HEAVEN!
Christopher Hitchens: Activist, humanist, and doesn't want to go to Heaven

Or so you'd think. But that's not even close to what the Gospel is about.
It's addressed to believers. The true believers who are not mere hearers of the word but "doers".

The presumption is that the sheep is a person who is living a life of CHRISTIAN virtue, ACTIVE in their faith and OBEDIENT to the Church and AT THE SAME TIME are doing great things for others, especially the least ones.

It is not saying that you can disregard the existence of Christ, ignore the Church's teachings, be lazy in practicing the faith but be a nice person and still be saved In fact, atheists these days are insulted that their works of altruism are construed as "closeted Christianity". Thanks, Karl Rahner, SJ!

Every Christian wants to be saved. If you don't, or don't care, then you're missing some fundamental Catholic hardware: pondering the FOUR LAST THINGS (dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun) Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell.

Homily Watch: What do you hear this weekend? Do you hear those who WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE are going to Heaven before Christians? Do you hear that DOING PEACE AND JUSTICE is better than practicing the theological virtues of the Faith?
Do you hear...gasp...that EVERYONE IS GOING TO HEAVEN?

Comments are open!