April 4, 2020

Good Relationships Focus On The Other (Palm Sunday 2020)

In this special time of self-isolation as we adapt to the pandemic we are all learning new ways of communicating - my homily notes are below and a complete home Holy Communion service with the homily is available on my “John Gishler” YouTube channel:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir70Mgkt8WQ

·      Last week I spoke about “Relationship = Antidote To Self-isolation.”
·      This week the Palm Sunday readings remind us how Jesus developed relationships with both God and His followers which have lasted to this day and spread around the world.
·      Jesus developed relationships by humbling Himself and focussing on the needs of the other

1. Isaiah teaches us how to focus on God

He “set his face like flint”: (My motivating vision)
·      Did not allow himself to be distracted
·      Endured insults, mocking and beating
·      Did not go along to get along
·      Decided to depend on God for approval
·      Isaiah served God

Isaiah was “given an instructed tongue”
·      Reward for focus, loyalty, obedience and listening
·      My experience about words of knowledge, sermon prep
·      Gift of preaching / prophet / teacher

2. Jesus models focus on God and others in His life
Palm Sunday is my favourite celebration of Jesus:
·          Chose for my Ordination as a priest 28 years ago
·          Celebrates Jesus formal “coming out” and claiming His authority as the long promised prophet or Messiah
·          Ultimate example of courage in a dangerous situation
·          Jesus raised Lazarus from death and rode into Jerusalem on a donkey – a claim to religious authority
·          Saying “Here I am and you’re so DONE” to the High Priest and Jewish Ruling authorities
·          Chose to give up His authority as Messiah / King and focus on what God needed Him to do
·          God needed Him to give up His life on a Cross, so we could be forgiven our sins and come into right relationship with God and be raised with Him

3. Apostle Paul teaches us to “have the same mindset in our relationships with each other”:
      Humble ourselves to be the servant of the other
      Be obedient to the needs of the other:
o   God needs us to be holy so we can live in His presence in heaven
o   Others need us to love them, comfort them and sometimes care for their physical needs

We are seeing wonderful examples of doctors, nurses and hospital workers risking their own safety and comfort to focus on the needs of others:
      They are reminding us that our lives are all about relationships
      They are showing us that focusing on the needs of others lifts us out of our isolation and gives our lives meaning and purpose

Call someone tonight!

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