FR.Xavier's Homily for January 29th , 2017

 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary time

An elderly pastor was searching his closet for a tie before church one Sunday morning. In the back of the closet, he found a small box containing 3 eggs and 100--$1.00 bills. He called his wife into the closet to ask her about the box and its contents. Embarrassed, she admitted having hidden the box for the entire 30 years of marriage. Disappointed and hurt, the pastor asked her “Why?” The wife replied I did not want to hurt your feelings. He asked how the box could have hurt his feelings. She said that every time during their marriage that he delivered a poor sermon, she placed an egg into the box. The pastor felt that 3 poor sermons in 30 years was certainly nothing to feel bad about, so he asked what the $100.00 was for. She replied, “Each time I got a dozen eggs, I sold them to the neighbor for $1.00!

Dear Friends,

One of the best part of the Gospels we read today. As we are reflecting about the vision and mission of the diocese and our parish, today’ s readings would be a great help to understand how we can live out our mission and vision in our lives.

The first reading speaks out justice and humility which will make a right relationship with God. In the second reading St. Paul talks about the work of God, how He chooses us to become strong. There is nothing on our own, everything is from God. Whatever you achieve comes from God. We try to collaborate with God’s plan. The Gospel speaks about the beatitudes which are blessed according to God.

Jesus instructs his disciples in the paradoxical   blessedness of poverty, hunger, sorrow and persecution.  In poverty, we recognize God’s reign; in hunger, His providence; in sorrow, true happiness; and in persecution, true joy.  In other words, the blessed on Jesus’ list are the poor in spirit, compassionate, meek, merciful, clean of heart and peacemakers and those who are willing even to be insulted and persecuted for their lived Faith in Him. Each of the inspired authors of today’s readings, Zephaniah, Paul and Matthew, “Makes a motion,” that each of us should consider making a Declaration of Dependence on God and then work with His grace to lead holier and happier lives.

The heart of Christ’s teaching:  The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes the importance of the Beatitudes as “The heart of Christ’s teaching.”  “The Beatitudes describe our relationship to the Kingdom in three ways.  First, these simple promises address our highest desire: happiness with God.  For, only God can satisfy the heart.  Second, they describe the path to God for us as individuals and together as a Church.  Through the Beatitudes, we share God's very life (Sanctifying grace) because we enter into His Kingdom.  Finally, they challenge us to live moral lives by putting God first.  If we want to know what it truly means to be a Christian, we should read the Beatitudes in Matthew” (CCC 1716-1724).

 

In Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, why did Jesus say, blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn the meek, and those who thirst for justice? It is said that Jesus recognized that in some of the world’s cultures, the tendency is to place too high of a value on self-reliance. We sometimes, perhaps often, imagine that we can rely only on our own personal strength to face the challenges the world throws at us. Certainly, the U.S. culture seems to promote self-interest and self-reliance, i.e. “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

The readings challenge us to have total dependence on God and to follow the spiritual, moral and social values of God into our lives.  When St. Augustine was asked to name the three most important virtues, he gave an interesting answer:

  • First, he said, humility.
  • Second, humility.
  • Third, humility.

More importantly let us reflect who we are, how to reach out to people, and how to reach out to God to have a right relationship. Jesus has shown the ways for the life. Are we ready to follow this life? Are we ready to be called blessed? This will make us travel to wholeness and holiness. Let us ask God’s grace to be the blessed in our lives.

 

 

 


Submitted by xavier santiago
Date Published: 01/28/2017

 

Back