Homily Sixth Sunday Year C Trust in God

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Homily Sixth Sunday Year C

 

Reading 1: Jeremiah has been sent to call the people of Israel back to the Lord. Externally, they were going through the motions, but internally and relationally they were not in right order. Instead of trusting in the Lord, who had shown them his providential care in many ways, they sought to align themselves with other nations and kingdoms for their protection.

 

So Jeremiah spoke the word of God to them. “Cursed are those who trust in other human beings and not in God. You will be like a fruitless tree in the desert.” On the other hand, those who put their trust primarily in God’s providential care will be like a fruitful tree.

 

In a sense, we are like the Israelites. Though on our currency we say “In God we trust”, but in fact do we truly trust in God? There are some in our nation who want to remove God from all public awareness and relegate God to a private, personal experience. In our personal lives do we truly trust in God primarily or do we put our trust in ourselves and others? Is our trust in God merely verbal or is actually what sustains us in our daily life? Because the people of Jeremiah’s day refused to heed God’s word, they experienced the curse of defeat and exile.

 

Gospel: The first reading stressed the difference between those who trust in the Lord and those who did not. The first are blessed and the later are cursed. Jesus uses the same idea in the Gospel. Blessed vs woe. Underlying the four groups of people whom Jesus calls blessed are those who trust in the Lord, even though they are poor materially, go about hungry, weep over the sins of the times, and are persecuted on account of their relationship with Jesus. In spite of their situation, they put their trust in God to provide for them.

 

In contrast are those who are called woe, not because they are rich, or satisfied, or laughing or spoken well of. They do not put their trust in God, but in themselves and others.  It would be wrong to think that Jesus despised the rich or those have sufficient food to eat, or know how to enjoy life. The contrast Jesus makes here is the same he makes in the parable of the unnamed rich man and the beggar Lazarus. The rich man was indifferent about the plight of the beggar. His focus was his own satisfaction, forgetting that he was a beggar before the Lord and a steward of the Lord’s provisions for him. On the other hand, Lazarus put his hope and trust in God to provide for him.

 

Do we trust in the Lord? Paul himself said that whether he had or did not have, he put his trust in the Lord to provide for his needs.

 

Reading 2: Paul was dealing with those in the Corinthian community who questioned life after death and therefore the resurrection of the body. Paul’s response is “do you trust in the word of God or do you trust in your own thinking?” Paul then turns to the word of God, reminding them of the central mystery of our faith, namely the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If we believe in the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection; if we believe that he has come to give us eternal life; if we believe that he said that when he will be with him, then we need to accept in faith that one day, though our bodies may turn to dust in the grave, nothing is impossible to God.

 

If God can create the first human being out of the clay of the earth, then he can raise our bodies up either to glory or to condemnation.  Each Sunday in the Creed, we profess this truth of revelation, namely, that, one day, God will raise our bodies to eternal life with him or eternal life alienated from him. 

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