Homily March 2, 2014 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted in christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, ethics, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on February 26, 2014

som 2Today, Matthew continues his account of the sermon on the mount. His key thought is that no one can serve two masters. A person will be attached to one and detached or apart from the other. This is the basic understanding of the love-hate relationship Jesus speaks of. In fact, ultimately he is speaking of a conflict that is present in each of us as believers. We all profess to serve God and follow Jesus. But at the same time we are living in a world and have families and have the task of caring for ourselves and our families. In this concern we can be so consumed sometimes that we lose sight of God and place all our effort in looking after the present and future material needs of our family. Education, retirement, financial stability are all major concerns and future planning is necessary. But Jesus today is saying that our faith tells us otherwise. Certainly, we should look ahead and be prudent, but he says why are we worrying. In faith we should look to God and place our trust and lives in him. Doing that, the tomorrows will take care of themselves while we will be sheltered from the tasks of worrying about what we can’t control. God knows our needs and necessities since he was the creator of all. The world in all its beauty and splendor continues on and in remarkable ways renews itself. Even in our times of global warming and all the other disastrous things we see around the world, God’s hand can be seen in ways that bring others together in their attempts to help those in need. Even from our own secure and comfortable live we can and do reach out to those in dire straits. This truly is a work of God.

At the same time though, we must look at ourselves and determine who is our master. Faith is a hard thing in many god-neighbour-self-heart-soul-mind-strengthways, as it is a darkness of sorts as we take a step forward into a place that is dark, an unknown path. It is a path following Christ but it is also a giving up of self and seeking to be selfless. This dynamic is really what Jesus describes today. It is a balancing of religion and daily life. The two are really compatible, but only with much effort and understanding. The key is what the whole sermon on the mount elaborates: love. Love of God, love of neighbor, love of self. To truly fulfill the commandment of love we have to learn how to love God, neighbor, and self. It is in loving that we find our true master. Loving opens and reveals the real path of faith to God and is the light that will shine on that dark path of faith. Doubt, worry, concern for the moment or the future, all become subject to our love and trust in God as our master and provider. A measured faith filled approach to life will bring the peaceful and stress free existence we seek. Doubts and curves and crises will occur, but always they will work themselves out. God’s love never fails, we just have to sometimes give it time and figure it out and accept it. In this way God is our master while at the same time we are faithful to ourselves.