St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

Hebrew society was basically tribal in nature, composed of huge extended families that took care of their own. Although based on God's holiness, all the commands to love are concerned with those within the tribe: family, relatives, countrymen, and neighbor. Those outside the tribal network were also outside the network of care and concern, left to God's providence.

In the portion of the Sermon on the Mount which we just heard, Jesus repeats the ancient law and then expands it, inviting his disciples to share in God's care for everyone. For Jesus, there are no insiders or outsiders. Everyone is to be cared for.

Once on a bike trip I and the other bicyclists saw an amazing and beautiful sight. We were breaking camp at a high elevation with brilliant sunshine all around us and saw a thick blanket of blanketing spread over the valley below us.


Now, remember that image.

Besides a few shepherds, few in 1st century Judea or Galilee considered Mary of Nazareth to be anyone special. Some of her townspeople probably were counting on their fingers as they calculated the timing of her son’s birth and were looking at Joseph and her with arched eyebrows.

But, as that son came to be recognized as the Son of God, Mary was rightly called the Mother of God, the feast we celebrate today. A lesson for us: do not be too quick to judge others or events.

Would you do what is right and good if there were no God, no hope of eternal life, no kind of a reward?

Would you “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them”? (Is. 58:7)

Would you be good for goodness sake? Do you believe that goodness is its own reward?

In Matthew’s Gospel this was the 1st time Peter, Andrew, James, and John encountered Jesus. He must have a magnetic personality to say “Come after me . . .”, and they immediately everything to follow him. What you do in a similar circumstance? Suppose you’re working the yard and a complete stranger comes along asks you to follow him. You’d probably run into your house and call the police. Right?

John the Baptist was in a dudgeon. His thoughts became as dark as the cell he was in. He wondered if he had fulfilled his mission of preparing the way for the coming Messiah. He found himself more than a little confused by his cousin Jesus who had come to him in the wilderness asking for his baptism of repentance. Moreover, John thought the Messiah would be an avenging servant of God, baptizing with the Spirit and with fire, a winnowing fan in his hand, clearing his threshing floor and burning the chaff with unquenchable fire.

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