Homily for the Eight Sunday of the Year A

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Homily for the Eight Sunday of the Year A

Sometimes the words of the scriptures sound too good to be true. We have heard promises before from others and were disappointed, often hurt, feeling cheated or made a fool of. As a result, we became calloused and built a wall around us to insulate us from the pain of trust and belief. In protecting ourselves from others we protected ourselves from God.

Often we deeply feel that God has forgotten us. We pray and things do not happen to us the way we want or think best. We hear the words: “Can a mother forget her infant….I will never forget you.” We say we don’t want to allow ourselves to believe that again. That is because at a specific time in our life we didn’t see God do anything when we needed him.

There are many examples of people believing in this word of God and experiencing God’s power in their lives. Why? Because God is who he is and because of who they are in his eyes, they believe.

Let me share a story. We are perhaps like the small child who stood uncertainly at the entrance of a cable foot bridge that spanned a mountain river. The bride was not high and was protected, so the child could not fall. But walking on the bridge made it sway. The child’s father called to her from the other side, urging her to cross, but she would not. She wanted to cross to where her parents and sisters were, but she saw the rushing water and was fearful.

Today, Jesus reiterates the Word of God that has come to us through the centuries. The Jews of the Exodus journey heard the Commandments: I, the Lord am God. You shall not have stranger gods before me. The Jews of the later centuries heard the Commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, whole mind, with all your strength. Jesus, when questioned about the greatest commandment, repeated the same statement.

To further emphasize what he was preaching and proclaiming—the Word of God—he says in today’s readings: No man can serve two masters…You cannot give yourselves to God and money….Seek first his kingdom over you, his way of holiness.

We can give mental consent, but do we give heart and internal consent by living it in our lives?

Let’s take a test. Do we worry about our livelihood? Jesus doesn’t say, don’t work or don’t put an effort to do your best. But don’t worry! Do we feel we are not important to God? In comparison to the time we put into material things, how much time do we put in spiritual things? Is there a great disproportion? Do we feel that everything is on my shoulders and we got to do it all by our self, because God has too much to do than be concern over us? Do we live in relationship with God?

Holiness consists in an undivided love. The only way to love God like this is to surrender every earthly fear. This calls for absolute trust. For the Christian, holiness will not consist in carefully observing all of God’s commandments out of obligation. It is rather that we should give ourselves with our whole strength to accept the reign of God in our hearts, surrendering to his indwelling presence, to the light of His Spirit by which we are called to live. Our trust in God is based on the fact that he is our Father.

Let me go back to the story I began with. How often God as Father encourages us but we don’t move. In this story, the father finally crossed over and took his daughter by the hand. With that assurance, she willing walked across the swaying bridge. Fear and worry paralyze us, but trust frees us. Can we put our hands in those of God as he guides us through the swaying difficulties in our life?

 

 

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