Homily

Deacon Arturo's Homily 14th Sunday Ordinary Time

 

During this time of the coronavirus pandemic, not only violence on the streets has increased, but domestic violence has also. Many homes are caught up in a crisis of values, and often women and children are victims of abuse by a family member.

The Gospel of Matthew shows us once again the manifestation of the mercy and goodness of God. Jesus Christ came to minister to those who have been marginalized, oppressed, and lack a voice or someone to listen to their cry for justice.

I think Jesus would have liked to force the powerful of his time to make the changes society demanded to do things his way.  But he did not, because Jesus knew that the powerful use their power to manipulate people into doing things their way. Anyway, He told his disciples that all power in heaven and on earth was given to Him by the Father.

But Jesus did not come to oppress; he came to liberate.

Power seduces and corrupts.

The powerful imposing their burden on others to oppress is unfair and greedy.

Jesus, humble and meek of heart, understands the cry of the oppressed and said, "Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened," (by the powerful), “… you shall find rest to your souls.” It is that power which is relative, explosive, singular, and silent.

It is relative, because the abuser finds pleasure subduing and abusing family members--especially the weakest—women and children.

It is explosive, because violence against their victims does not just happen at a specific time or place. Abused family members live in constant anguish not knowing when the abuser will attack next.

It is unique and singular, because family abusers most always have a psychological pattern of acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and it is silent in that they coerce their victims into remaining silent.  

The abused remain silent, living in fear that if they speak, they will be victimized again and receive more repression and abuse from the abuser. The abuser knows nothing of humility or justice, and his only law is the law of repression. The abused feels obliged to obey due to fear of further repression and continually lives in anguish and terror. The abused does not see a way out of what is perceived as a “hopeless situation.”

God provides the way for us to hope for a better world free from oppression and fear. In Jesus Christ, the abused have the tools to leave the fear and anguish of the abusive situation in which they find themselves.

In Jesus, they will find courage and strength not to be intimidated by those who believe they have power to oppress, knowing it is an act of cowardice.

The abused must have courage and firm determination to leave the fear and darkness perpetuated by the oppressor but at the same time accept the light and courage given by Jesus Christ to face the powerful abuser. Jesus wants to free the abused from the chains of oppression so they will not be weak coming out of the darkness of domestic violence. He does not want anyone to remain under the yoke of oppression or without a voice amid difficulty and adversity.

Those suffering from domestic violence, need to know that Jesus calls us to walk with Him. Jesus wants to shatter the yoke of worry, fear, violence, and the oppression they have suffered. Many victims have been subjected to abusers who justify their violence in the name of “love.”

Put your desires on Jesus' shoulders for the liberation and true freedom that only He can give.

Do not be afraid; put into the hands of Jesus Christ your whole being, and you will see how He will give the mental and spiritual peace needed to face an abuser.

If all those under the yoke of domestic violence (both the oppressor and the oppressed) turned to Jesus, it is certain we would have better families as well as a better society.

If those believing that by subduing and oppressing the weak and finding satisfaction in the downward spiral of violence will turn to God and give to Him all their problems, anguish, and demons; they will be released from the yoke of the oppression.

Jesus offers an invitation to make each of us meek and humble and for us to find relief and rest.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart waits for us in the Eucharist. It is there we will find rest.

 
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