Homily Nineteenth Sunday Year C God's promise

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Homily Nineteenth Sunday Year C


Reading 1: “The night was known beforehand.” This was the night of the Passover, when God delivered his people from their bondage in Egypt. God revealed himself first to Moses, then through the many plagues, then to the people.


When he instructed them to slaughter a lamb, splash its blood on their doorpost, eat the roasted lamb in a stance of getting ready for a journey, they did so. God then struck down the Egyptians and passed over the houses of the Israelites. Then God led the people out of Egypt.


The key word in this phrase in this reading is: “They put their faith.” This faith gave them courage. Because they followed the instructions of God, they experienced the power and deliverance of God.


The Book of Wisdom, written many years after the event, gives the glorified version. Their faith wasn’t always as strong as portrayed. They also feared God whose power they had witnessed in the ten plagues. They had a “here and now faith”, as we realize from the rest of their forty years exodus journey with God in the desert. They murmured, complained, rebel and were disobedient. And yet God called them back to himself because of who God was and because of his plans for them. Their faith was foraged through the fire of many test and trials.


Is our faith in God any different?


Reading 2: “Faith is confident assurances concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see.” Faith is based on a relationship and on the conviction that the person I believe in is worthy of trust.


It was Abraham’s conviction that God had revealed to him his many promises. Because of this relationship and who God was, Abraham believed in the promises even though he did not see the promises fulfilled fully. It was faith that sustained Abraham and Sarah, who waited for a child even though they at times tried to take things in their own hands. It was faith that sustained Abraham when God told him to slay Isaac, who was his hope for the future.


However, the relationship with God was stronger than Abraham’s human desire to follow his human instincts. Abraham believed but never saw his many descendants, only Isaac. He believed though he never saw the many blessings that would come upon his descendants. He believed though he did not experience the extent of the land to be given. His faith was not in the promises but in the person of God, in whom he put his faith.


Gospel: Did you hear the promise? Your Father will give you the kingdom which is eternal life with him. If we believe and have hope to see this promise fulfilled, what must we do? Live in such a way that shows what our true treasure is. “Where your treasure lies, there your heart will be.” Is our treasure in material things or spiritual? Is our treasure in others or in God? Is it on what we can see, feel or what is unseen? Are we servants waiting for the Master to return or are we the one in charge? Are we the faithful, farsighted servant or the wicked servant?


The second key idea in this Gospel is the focus of our faith. We put our trust in God’s promises because of who God is. We express this faith by living in a way that shows we are anticipating and expecting his return either in death or at the end of time. We want to be ready to welcome him as we act in faith and live in hope.


The third key idea: “When much has been given, much will be required.” How much has been given us by God? What are we doing with it? Are we a people of faith and commitment or are we a people with a loss of memory of the bountiful blessings we have received?

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