Homily: Sixth Sunday Year A Choose life or choose death

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Homily: Sixth Sunday Year A

Reading 1: This first reading sets the tone for the other two readings. God gives us free will to choose between life and death, good and evil, lasting fire (symbol of eternal separation from God) or soothing water (symbol of the life with God). Our choice will be based on self-gratification or love of God, trusting in our self or trusting in the Lord. He doesn’t causes us to act unjustly or gives us license to sin. Instead, he gives us the grace to know right from wrong, which is his wisdom.

If we choose God’s ways because of his grace, God will confirm our choice. This is eternal life with him. If we choose to satisfy ourselves in spite of God’s commands, in spite of his grace, God will confirm our choice. This is the second death, eternal alienation from the Good which is himself.

Many people feel that freedom equates license to do anything they want. Rather, true freedom is to choose that which will be beneficial to our eternal happiness. Our eternal happiness is to be in relationship with God. Our eternal unhappiness will be not to be in relationship with God. So choose life or choose death.

Gospel: Jesus gives us examples of human wisdom and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is found in the Commandments, which he has come to fulfill. How? In the words of Pope Francis, through a higher justice and a more authentic observance.

Human wisdom concerning the commandments came from the interpretation of the scribes and Pharisees. They emphasized rote observance and outward conduct. Jesus said our way of life must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.

This is how we are to fulfill the commandments, by going to the root which focuses on the intention of the human heart. In other words, human wisdom just goes through the motions and does the actions, without necessarily believing or caring. On the other hand, the wisdom of God says that the fulfillment of the commandments come from the act of love. This is how the commandment is acted on and embraced.

I have heard often in confession: I didn’t kill anyone. But Jesus says” you can violate the command of God without physically taking another’s life. We can kill in our speech and in other actions.

Human wisdom asks: how can you forgive someone who has hurt you deeply? The wisdom of God says: be reconciled first before you come to offer sacrifice to the Lord through worship.

Are we motivated by authentic love of God and love of others in our thoughts, words and deeds? Then we are fulfilling the commands of God. If not, then we are only going through the motion but our heart is far from God. Are we following the wisdom of the world or the wisdom of God? Are we asking God regularly to give us his wisdom: to see how he sees things or are we listening to the wisdom of society and present culture?

Reading 2: The first reading said “Vast is the wisdom of the Lord; he is almighty and all-seeing.” We have a natural gift of wisdom and spiritual gift of wisdom. It is this spiritual wisdom that Paul refers to. Human wisdom may tell us to look to our own interest above others. Human wisdom and the world’s wisdom may tell us that we have a right to happiness at all costs. If something makes you happy, if it gives you pleasure, if it enhances you even if others suffer, you should feel free to do it. Human wisdom says might makes right.

But there is another type of wisdom, which comes from God. This wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given by God to us in Baptism and renewed in Confirmation. What is this wisdom? Paul says the Spirit reveals to us the depths of everything, even the depth of God. This gift of wisdom enables us to know and to see things as God does; in other words, we are able to know in a given situation the will of God.

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