Homily Fourth Sunday Year A A way of life

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Homily Fourth Sunday Year A

Reading 1: Zephaniah continued the prophetic ministry to Israel. He was a number of prophets were raised up by the Lord to call the Chosen People back to justice and truth. But the people did not always heed the warning of a time of chastisement from God. Yet, there were those who were faithful to the Lord. To these he urged that they continue to seek the Lord.


The connection between the first reading and the Gospel is the remnant of the Lord, who were poor in spirit, humble, seeking what is right and just, depending on the Lord, keeping the commands of the Lord.


The Lord wants us to seek him, to desire to be in his presence. Life is a journey from God to God. Our life begins with God creating us in his own image and likeness. He created us that we may share his life forever in glory. He is our beginning and our end.


St. Augustine said that during this journey our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Seeking the Lord is part of this journey, in fact it is the most essential part. The message of Zephaniah is just as relevant today as it was when he first uttered it


Gospel: Jesus draws a blueprint for true and lasting happiness. This plan of life is contrary to the human standards of behavior. Natural human wisdom of the world would not agree with Jesus. It would say blessed are the strong; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for power; blessed are those who get what they want no matter the cost to others; blessed are those righteous in their own eyes; blessed are those who divide and conquer.


Jesus is counter cultural. The focus for Jesus is right relationship with God. He begins with the premise that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. In spite of the fact of weakness of human nature because of sin, man is fully alive only to the extent he is in relationship with God. His true happiness is not in material wealth or possessions, but in his depending upon God, recognizing that all belongs and come from God. Man is a steward of God’s goods.


Each of the beatitudes reflect a conscious choice to be dependent on God and to follow the way of God. Each reflect an attitude of the heart, a reference in life.


Reading 2 Paul speaks about the importance of a right self-understanding. This understanding is based on the reality that we have been called by God by name. He has written our name of the palm of his hand, as the psalmist says. We have been called not only to be creatures of God but sons and daughters of God. God calls us not because we are special, better than others, due to our wealth or popularity. God called us because he saw us alienated from him, living in darkness and sin.


He called us when we were weak and despised, having no worth on our own. We are who we are because of the grace of God. Without God I am nothing and I have nothing of lasting value. But because of God, whether I have much in this world or less, I am a son or daughter of God. St. Francis once said: I am who I am in the eyes of God and nothing else. My good fortune and popularity of physical blessings do not make me who I truly am. With Paul, I proclaim: “Let no one boast except in the Lord.”

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