Click to hear audio homily
Do you ever have the quirky urge, a funny tingle, or a little voice in your head? We call these gut feelings. These feelings could be a common sense perception of what is the right thing to do or an intense emotion that moves you to “go the extra mile.” Sometimes, though, the gut feelings tell you something opposite--”don’t do it,” “ get away,” or “don’t trust.” The question is, should you listen to your gut feelings?
Because gut feelings tend to be immediate reaction without a logical rationale, at times we do need to ponder what they are telling us before we comply. We are given a guideline in how to discern our gut feelings in our readings today. In the First Reading, God instructs the Israelites to be especially attentive to those within their community who are the most vulnerable, defenseless, and disadvantaged. He singles out the aliens--not merely those who are passing through the land--but those who live among people who are not their relatives or kin. This instruction goes counter to our natural gut feeling that tells us not to be trusting of those who are not of our kin or a member of our community. Then Jesus gives us the following maxim after someone asks him what is the greatest commandment in all of the Jewish laws: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”