Homily Sixth Sunday Year C Trust in God or in self and others

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Homily Sixth Sunday Year C

Reading 1: Jeremiah contrasts for us trust in human beings versus trust in God. For the prophet anyone who trusts in human beings, anyone who trusts in human power and not in the divine, turns his heart away from God. These actions described by Jeremiah are all internal actions.

Our currency at present states “In God we trust”. However, our actions as a people reveal we trust in ourselves and others and not in God. Recent events have revealed the futility of trusting in others, who in their own greed have brought about financial crises, moral disintegration, political injustice.

It is not trust in others that is the problem but trust in others by turning away from God. If there is not a level of trust between people there would be anarchy. However, it is when God is left out of the equation that man falls apart.

To trust in human beings and turn away from God is an attempt to make human beings gods, the center of reality, the beginning and end of everything. Every political, economic and social system that does not have God as the center has failed over the centuries.

Trust in God or trust in self or others was the temptation in the Garden of Eden. It was the temptations faced by Jesus.

Reading 2: Paul touches on the central message of our faith: the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Because of his Resurrection, we believe that those who die in relationship to him will rise with him on the last day with glorified bodies.

Our faith, as Paul says, is not only in the Incarnation (Word became flesh), not only in the death of Jesus on the cross (our redemption). It is also in his prophetic word revealing that he would rise on the third day. As Paul says, either Christ is who he said he is or he is not. Either he fulfilled his promises to rise from the dead or did not. Each Sunday we profess our faith in the resurrection of Christ from the dead and our faith in our own future resurrection from the dead with and in Christ.

Gospel: Jesus preaches a message that is counter cultural. He calls the physically and materially poor blessed and confronts the self-focused materially rich. He does the same with those who are physically hungry in contrast to those who are  physically satisfied; those who are mourning in contrast to those who are enjoying life oblivious of others.

It is not that Jesus is exalting human poverty, hunger, sadness while condemning the opposites. The underlying factor is one’s relationship with God whether one is poor or rich, hungry or satisfied. In light of that relationship the poor person places his trust in God and the one with wealth sees that he is a steward of what belongs to God.

Jesus is not opposed to wealth nor does he wants people to suffer poverty. Did he not accept to dine with the rich man? Did he not feed the five thousand? Did he not raised the son of the widow of Naim? Did he not change water into wine so the wedding celebration could continue?
The question is poverty with or without God and richness without reference to God or under the Lordship of God.

Jesus himself was poor in the sense he had no place to lay down his head but rich because he trusted in the providence of the Father to care for him as long as he was doing the will of the Father.

So the question is whether we trust in God or in ourselves and others. If we are rich or full or happy, are we conscious of those in need and what does God want us to do with what we have? Or are we oblivious like the rich man towards Lazarus? We can’t solve the world’s problem. But we can make a difference in one person’s life.

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