Homilies that Irritate

I loathe homilies that deal with difficulties by cheap dodges. Today a friend called to say the local (what else?) Jesuit priest had basically diced up the gospel reading at Mass into “words of Jesus” and “words injected by the evangelist into Jesus’ mouth” in order to explain away passages he happened to dislike. It’s the oldest trick in the book for the lazy exegete. Oh, Jesus didn’t really say the parts about the worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched. He just said the nice comfy bits. Memo to Padre: we have no little yellow sticky notes attached to the gospel manuscripts explaining “I, Luke, would now like to offer a few remarks of my own.” We just have the gospels and when they say Jesus said something, they are in earnest. Deal with hard sayings, don’t wish them away.