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11th OT A ~ The Choice of God: Homiletical Points to Consider ~ Rev. Benjamin Roberts, DMin

In full disclosure, I have never preached for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A. The last time we had this particular liturgical celebration was in 2005, and my first preaching course was a year away. For this week, instead of a complete homily, I would like to offer a few points to consider for homiletical development.

The Choice of God runs like a stream through the biblical texts for this Sunday.

This theme of "Choice" can be developed homiletically by pulling on a thread or image from the scripture passages and placing it into conversation with the concrete experience of the community. Effective preaching always has a clear focus and a unity of theme and purpose. Ask, "What is the one assurance of Good News that my community needs to hear today? What one point will help them navigate this week with grace and hope?" Clarity of focus helps stick the message in the minds and hearts of the listeners, and offers a better chance that it will make a difference in their lives.

  1. The Lord’s choice of Israel as a kingdom of priests places them in a special relationship with the Lord and a particular relationship with all of the peoples of the world.

  2. We are just over one-third of the way through the Gospel of Matthew and this is the first listing of the chosen twelve apostles.

  3. God chooses us in Christ even though we were helpless, sinful, and rebellious.

  4. Jesus chooses the message for the apostles, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

  5. The heart of Jesus is moved with pity for the crowds who are troubled and abandoned. Jesus chooses to serve them through his words, actions, and life.

  6. Looking at the final line of the Gospel, have we really received without cost? How do we choose to respond to this gift?

An abundant homiletical harvest could spring from these points to ponder. I will leave the choice, for this week, to those who have been sent to labor in the master’s harvest.

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