Pentecost 21, Year B

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C January 13, 2019 First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C Isaiah 43:1-7, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
The Epiphany January 6, 2019 The Epiphany, Year C Matthew 2:1-12
Christmas Eve, Year C December 24, 2018 Christmas Eve, Year C Luke 2:1-20
Advent 3, Year C December 16, 2018 Third Sunday of Advent, Year C Luke 3:7-18
Advent 2, Year C December 9, 2018 Advent 2, Year C Baruch 5:1-9, Luke 3:1-6
Advent 1, Year C December 2, 2018 The First Sunday in Advent, Year C 2018 Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Psalm 25:1-9, Luke 21:25-36
Christ the King Sunday, Year B November 25, 2018 Christ the King, Last Pentecost John 18:33-37, Revelation 1:4b-8
Pentecost 26, Year B November 18, 2018 Proper 28, Year B Daniel 12:1-3, Psalm 16, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13: 1-8
Pentecost 25, Year B November 11, 2018 Proper 27, Year B 1 Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44
All Saints, Year B November 4, 2018 All Saints’ Day, Year B Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-a; John 11:32-44
Pentecost 23, Year B October 28, 2018 Proper 25, Year B Mark 10:46-52
Pentecost 22, Holy Eucharist II, Year B October 21, 2018 Proper 24, Year B Psalm 91:9-16, Hebrews 5:1-10, Mark 10:35-45
Pentecost 21, Year B October 14, 2018 21st Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 23, Year B Mark 10:17-31
Pentecost 20, Holy Eucharist II, Year B October 7, 2018 Proper 22, Year B Genesis 2:18-24, Hebrews 1:1-4,2:5-12, Mark 10:2-16
Season of Creation 5, Year B September 30, 2018 The Season of Creation, Week 5, Year B Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-7, Mark 16:1-8


Pentecost 21, Year B

Sermon Date:October 14, 2018

Scripture: Mark 10:17-31

Liturgy Calendar: 21st Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 23, Year B

Notes from Ron Okrasinski’s sermon

Marks’ Gospel has a rarely seen event – a rich man kneeling before a poor man. This was a radical reversal of society. Typically, the poor would bow down in respect in acknowledgment of a man of wealth. It was unusual for a rich man to humble himself in front of a poor man.

The poor man in this case was Jesus whom many would consider the greatest man who ever lived. The rich man in contrast is not known at all.

The scripture says “As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”..You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.”

The young ruler is sincere and not trying to deceive Jesus. He believes he has observed all the rules. He has fulfilled all the social obligations in the law. Jesus seems to appreciate this man’s ethical and moral achievement. He has passed the test of the law. Jesus admires he has led a decent life in an often immoral world.

But there is a higher standard and that was love. “Jesus, looking at him, loved him, ” The demands of love are higher than that of the law. Sell all you have and give to the poor. It is one thing to obey the law and not hurt another but it is another give yourself sacrificially. Jesus comment laid bare this man’s lack of moral seriousness.

Ron reviewed a few of the 10 commandments in this light:

“1. Thou shalt not kill.” Murder is unthinkable to most people. This world would be a safer place if everyone felt this way. Not killing someone, however, does not meet Jesus standard of love. We should look at another human being with eyes of love. It is one thing to spare one life vs. truly value another life. We need to help people to do more than live. Ordinary goodness is not enough. Jesus expects more.

“2. Thou shalt not commit adultery”. This commandment does not seem as serious as the commandment against murder. Most have kept it but the world would be a better place if all did. We need to see this commandment deeper than upholding the sacredness of marriage. We must not think of people as objects. The law did not forbid it but Jesus did. The usual goodness is not enough to meet Jesus’ standards.

“3. Thou shalt not steal”. Unlike the other two we have all broken this one. We have taken something that did not belong to us. However, the rich ruler said he obeyed this commandment and Jesus took him at his word. Looking at the implications of this commandment causes us to look into the concept of honesty. Honesty means more than not robbing a bank but for employers to pay a fair wage for a day’s worth of labor and for an employee to do an honest day of labor. Also look at those who are investors. Are our dividends coming from companies that deprive another? Ordinary goodness is not enough.

“4. Honor thy father and thy mother”. This commandment is more complex. We have children today reared by a mother who never knew their father. We need to focus on those who have cared for us . We owe them something. It is more than recognition since love requires more. A family is more than blood ties. Charity begins at home but that is not where it ends. Our sense of caring for others does not have a stopping place until it includes the whole human family. The law does not require this but Jesus did. Ordinary goodness is not enough. Jesus expected more.

It is not good enough to be civil and decent. What of heritage would we have without people who went further, such as St. Francis who cultivated the animals and criticized material society? William Wilberforce who was an English politician known as a leader of the movement to stop the slave trade? or Lincoln? The spiritual giants such as these pointed the way to a better tomorrow. They still inspire us. The Pope today Oct. 14, 2018 elevated Oscar Romero to sainthood. Romero was decidedly left wing in caring for the poor. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture as an Archbishop of El Salvador.

We can be grateful for Christ requiring more than respectability and more than decency. With Jesus ordinary goodness was not enough.