Homily Eight Sunday Year C Our way of life in Christ

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Homily: Eight Sunday Year C

 

Reading 1: One’s speech and words tell us much about a person, his character, his values, his motives and his true self. One uses a sieve or a strainer to separate the useful and the good from what will be discarded. As the reading says, “so too does none’s speech discloses the bent of one’s mind.” How conscious are we of our speech? How observant, controlled and filtered is our speech? Do we filter our thoughts before we verbalize them or do we speak whatever we think, regardless of the consequences? This Letter of St. James speaks of the important role our tongue has. Like the rudder of a boat or the steering wheel of a car, the person can direct the boat or car. James says: “the tongue is a small part but it moves great things. By our tongues we bless God and by our tongues we speak evil of others, who have been made in the likeness of God.  

 

Gospel: Jesus picks up the theme of the first reading. How easy is it for us to notice the faults of others but be blind to our own faults!  Not only do we notice the faults of others, we verbalize them in a judgmental and condemning way. Jesus calls this hypocrisy. He tells us to work on our own faults, clean our own closet from its skeletons. Then if you are led by God to encourage another to deal with a fault, do it out of love and in love.

 

As we enter into Lent, what better area to work on than our thought and our speech? What will happen to us, if we would spend Lent conscious of filtering our negative, judgmental, critical, angry, destructive thoughts? What if we would bring these thoughts to the Lord at the foot of the cross, before we speak them without filter? Would we then be putting into practice the admonition of St. Paul when we wrote: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of Jesus, giving praise to Go God the Father through him.” Two things would be accomplished. We would be working on the junk within us and we would build up in love the other person. Yes, there is a law of sin without each of us, but there is also the grace of God to help us overcome this law of sin, if we so choose.

 

Reading 2: Death is inevitable for each person. As the scripture says, there is a time to be born and a time to die. The question is will death defeat us or will we by the grace of God defeat death? Paul tells us that through Jesus we have been given the victory over the second death, which is eternal alienation for God.

 

In faith we know that we will live eternally. Physical death is a brief moment in our life span. But if we die separated from God, our eternally will be a confirmation of the same. If we die in union with God because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, then we, by God’s grace and mercy, will live with God eternally. Therefore, how shall we live? Paul gives us the answer. “Be firm, steadfast and always devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 

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