Roc Homily – 3rd Sunday Advent Cycle A 2016 (final reflection, maybe)
“Lepers are cleansed…”
Psalm 51:1f 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
How do you interpret this well-known psalm? What does being cleansed from sin look like? Ready for a surprise?
To cleanse; purify = katherizo 1) Here is our part in being cleansed – self-knowledge
Matthew 23:25f “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
2) Bring our idolatry to be purified
Genesis 35:2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your clothes; then come, let us go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.”
Malachi 3:2f But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
3) Surrender to God who alone purifies
Ezekiel 36:25f I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.