Appleton, WI

Jul 4 Homily Connect: We Put People in Boxes

Scripture: Ez 2:2-5 2Cor 12:7-10 Mk 6:1-6

A Favorite The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins

  • Boy with thick eyebrows rides skateboard with loud boom box
  • My dad yells until her turns it down – He’s a little bit SCARY
  • But I bet he kisses the cat and scratches her until she purrs
  • Bus Driver makes you have the exact change
  • Honks her horn loudly for no reason – She is a little bit SCARY
  • But I bet she makes fancy, wonderful breakfasts for her family
  • Teenage Girl outside candy store kicks garbage – She’s a little bit SCARY
  • But I know she plays football with her little brothers and lets them win
  • I know because she is my sister
  • Policeman blows whistle loud and scolds’ people for jaywalking – He’s a little bit SCARY
  • But he eats spaghetti with his family at a local restaurant every Friday
  • I know because he is my dad
  • Some people are a little bit SCARY – but then sometimes (most times, maybe, I think) Sometimes they really are not

We Put People in Boxes

  • We hem in with preconceived notions and stereotypes
  • We judge young black men by appearances – cross street or scoot to corner of elevator
  • We see Jewish brother in black with big black hat and think uncomplimentary things
  • Same with Asian American persons, or those released from prison or homeless people
  • We make assumptions based on appearances

Along History of Attitude – Second Grade

  • Recently anointed a man named Edward (definitely not Eddie) in Neenah
  • We prayed together after anointing
  • After (I don’t know what came over me) I recalled an Eddie I knew in second grade
  • He was always in trouble and Sister Wilbert was mean to him
  • The person I anointed was that Eddie
  • I agonized over how quickly I rewound the tape and how badly he had been treated

When we put people in Boxes, we never appreciate their inner beauty.

People Put Jesus in a Box

  • Put Jesus in a box – He was the carpenter’s son – ordinary man
  • Why was he acting extraordinary – he wasn’t a rabbi – why was he preaching?
  • He wasn’t a miracle worker – had some nerve healing people
  • People of Nazareth would not put trust in him

Why the lack of trust in Jesus?

  • Maybe they were jealous – Maybe they didn’t like the message
  • Prophet are mouth pieces for the Lord God and those who have no voice
  • Prophets yesterday and today are still being silenced – Reject and kill the prophet
  • Maybe people were afraid message would change their hearts and lives
  • Maybe they didn’t want to come out of their comfort zone

Sad for them

  • Jesus was not able to perform any miracles because of their lack of faith
  • They missed out on getting to know someone who could have changed their lives
  • They missed out on seeing and experiencing the love of Jesus
  • They missed out on encountering the divine spark within Jesus

Bottom Line

  • Let’s not put one another in a box or others in their place
  • Let’s open our hearts to the people around us – especially those who think or act differently
  • Let us not miss every opportunity to draw near to someone to hear his/her story
  • Let us allow that person to make us a better person

Back to Eddie

  • He was so much more than a trouble maker

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from the readings/homily?
  • Who was the last person you put in a box? Who are you more likely to misjudge in your life? Have you ever apologized to someone you misjudged? Did you begin a new relationship?
  • How has Jesus or prayer helped you to see more clearly about others in your life

Live Connected

Consider people in your life who you may need to consider with new eyes and the heart of Jesus. Pray that you might find the words and perhaps actions to make a change.