Sometimes when you read the bible
You have to wonder
What the heck is God saying here.
Such was the case
When I was praying on our first reading today.
I got to this part which really confused me.
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy…
the sleek and the strong I will destroy?????
I get the God is like a good Shepherd
Who goes out to care for the sheep
But why would God destroy
The sheep that are sleek and strong?
What’s going on here?
If this story is really about God and us,
What is God saying to us today?
It sounds like he is saying
That he knows that we struggle.
He knows that we are broken
And God knows that we make mistakes.
It means that God is here for us
Christ is here to heal us and comfort us
and to save us.
But if we think we’ve got it all together.
If we see ourselves as sleek and strong
And really don’t need him
Then we have no place in his kingdom.
Remember what Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke:
“Those who are healthy
do not need a physician,
but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance
It’s not that Jesus
Does not want us to be successful
Or healthy or strong.
But Jesus invites us to remember
That we are the creatures
And God is the creator of the universe.
He invites us to surrender control.
He invites us to humble and honest
About who we are.
Jesus also invites us
To take the realization and acceptance
Of our own brokenness
And see ourselves in our broken sisters and brothers.
Jesus invites us to be good shepherds
For the hungry and thirsty,
For the stranger and the naked,
For the ill and those imprisoned.
Because in the end,
In God’s sight,
We are all one people,
This is not just pious talk.
The rubber hits the road
When we take the Gospel today
And apply it to comprehensive immigration reform.
We pray that the Congress and the President
Will find a way to work together,
But as Pope Francis and our bishops have said,
Caring for the stranger in our midst
Is a Gospel command.
We who are so blessed
Must remember our own brokenness
And care for our undocumented sisters and brothers
Whose lives are broken by poverty, war and corruption.
Last week I saw a movie with my sister
That kind of fits the theme of our scriptures today.
We wanted to go see something light and funny
And went to see St. Vincent.
It stars Bill Murray and Melissa MacCarthy.
Melissa you will recognize from Mike & Molly,
and some really ackward scenes in BridesMaids.
I’m not going to spoil the movie for you
But it’s about a guy who is a total mess,
Whose life is a complete disaster.
Except that it’s really not,
Not where it matters.
It’s a film that reminds us,
As the liturgy today reminds us that:
You don’t have to be perfect
To be part of Christ’s kingdom.
All you have to be is faithful.