Homily 5th sunday ordinary time B 2021 (English version)
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7. Februar 2021 - KHG Bonn, St. Remigius
- Knowledge changes the whole person. Whether knowledge imparted at university can do that is a detail. Nevertheless, the knowledge of a cancer diagnosis does not leave anyone cold; for a while, one may be preoccupied with somehow knowing it more precisely, more measurably, more clearly - but at the latest then it changes the person. Some people despair, some prove to be strong right now, seem to grow with the knowledge.
- How does it change a person to know that the one I loved sat at my bedside day after day for months during my coma, watching over me and praying for me? Knowledge changes the whole person.
- Obviously, this is especially true of knowing whether I can trust or not. This is not measurable knowledge that can be precisely quantified. Nevertheless, it is central. That is why child abuse, especially by priests or one's own parents, is so destructive for a whole life. That is why the experience of being able to trust, the knowledge of a loved one, is a knowledge that can change and sustain a whole life.
- Paul experienced this with the gospel. Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ he went from being a distrustful persecutor of Christians to a messenger. Trust and faith are so identical with himself that he cannot remain silent. It would contradict his innermost self if he did not proclaim the Gospel.
- Probably this cannot be achieved from one moment to the next. After the experience at Damascus, Paul remained a zealot for quite some time. He proudly tells how he even resisted Peter to his face.
- But now, in the letter to his beloved church in Corinth, it is different. Paul has become one who becomes "become all things to all" in order to proclaim Christ. He really gets involved in the lives of others. He wants to live with them, suffer with them, rejoice with them, be with them a Christian Jew or a Christian as a Gentile. The knowledge of the greatness of Christ's love has changed him.
- This is also the background why Jesus forbids the demons to confess him as Messiah and Son of God. In their mouth the confession of faith is a lie. Whoever confesses Christ as the Son of God and at the same time causes serious harm to others is lying. The phrase "You are the Messiah" is a lie from the mouth of demons.
- The Epistles of John speak about this in more detail. I am also sure: people feel this contradiction between the Gospel and, for example, a church hierarchy that is only concerned with its power.
- The Holy Liturgy is therefore a framework for carefully and hesitantly confessing the faith. I say the Creed only in fellowship. Before communion there is the "Lord I am not worthy..." and in the Our Father the "forgive us our trespasses". This makes it clear that we are still asking and praying for this: Lord, change me through the knowledge of your love. That this knowledge of faith may bear fruit in me. Amen.