20th Sunday Ordinary Time – Who are “The Lost Sheep of Israel?”

Lost sheep of Israel

9:00 am Mass Homily –

Back to this againHurt people hurt people.  OR, the lost/perishing/murderous sheep of Israel hurt the shepherd and every one else.

The key word is ‘apollumi, “to lose, destroy, kill.”  It establishes a network the points to a sub-theme in Matthew’s gospel.  Here’s how and where we find it.  Don’t be surprised to notice TWO categories, OK?

  • The murderous factor revealed:

Matthew 2:13 (NRSV) — 13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

Matthew 12:13f (NRSV) — 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored, as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

Matthew 26:52 (NRSV) — 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Matthew 27:20 (NRSV) — 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.

Matthew 26:52 (NRSV) — 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Matthew 27:20 (NRSV) — 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.

  • Jesus’ prescription for becoming less murderous:

Matthew 5:29f (NRSV) — 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

 

 

Matthew 10:39 (NRSV) — 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:25f (NRSV) — 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

 

 

  • In other words, Jesus is sent to the lost sheep, those who use violence to solve problems.
  • Jesus teaches us how to become less violent, destructive – lose our lives to save it.
  • Tough choice, eh?

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