Carmelite Homilies are recorded by Fr. Gregory Houck, O, Carm., following the Cycle of Readings of the Common Lectionary. His preacher’s blog is found at: fathergreg.com
Jesus expects a lot out of us. He expects
- turn the other cheek,
- to forgive, not seven times but seventy times seven times,
- to walk the extra mile,
- to give your coat as well as your tunic when you’re asked for it,
- to never ask for anything back that someone borrows,
- etc., etc., etc., etc.
And people will oftentimes ask me, ‘but this can get abusive; when do I say no; when do I say that’s enough? Well, today’s Gospel has the answer. Jesus instructs the Twelve when they’re going out with this great bit of advice, “Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” It’s a great piece of advice. What I think it means is simply; yes, do all these things, but don’t be stupid. Yes, be shrewd as serpents; peaceful as doves, but shrewd as serpents. It means don’t be a doormat, don’t be stupid. But be loving, be dove-like, be peaceful. Be like Jesus.