Homily for Sunday, 27 February 2011
8th Sunday: Is 49:14-15. 1 Cor 4:1-5. Mt 6:24-34.
This week is about being free of mundane success while opening to the Kingdom of God (and seeking it and working for it as trustworthy servents).
The person who's really rich is the one who's willing to become poor. People who are selfish in life often actually suffer more than people who take the option to avoid the riches, honours and pleasures that the world tries to 'sell us'. Christ is a great help in that He frees us of selfish desires and that opens the door to a tremendous happiness! Enjoying life is very dependant on our ambitions and expectations. Things give us pleasure if we have desired them! Christ teaches us to desire to be impartial and free of selfishness!
It's relevant that the Our Father is asking for the simple necessity of life and not for the success of some 'economic investment' that may bring success in a few years! On the journey to the 'promised land', the people were asked to collect the manna for the day and not for storing (Ex 16:16-22).
The fundamental plan of our lives on earth is to love, and that may involve putting mundane riches to good use or it may involve avoiding them. The severe poverty of John the Baptist may seem almost contradictory to the way Jesus fed the hungry and even joined in parties, but their roles 'complement' each other.
Of course Christ approves of humility and preaches “blessed are the poor”, but putting our lives to good use in developing a nice world, is an important way of serving God! And Christ is ambitious. He doesn't preach “blessed are the lazy”! We can put his gifts to good use.
Francis of Assisi around 1200 told a friend "I am going to take a wife, more beautiful and worthy than any you know." He courted Lady Poverty!
Christ approves of humility and preaches “blessed are the poor”, but putting our lives to use in developing a nice world, is an important way of serving God! And Christ is ambitious. He doesn't preach “blessed are the lazy”! We can put his gifts to good use. He lived on earth as a poor person in order to enrichen us!