Homily for the Eighth Sunday of the Year (A) (26th February, 2017) on the GospelIs 49:14-15;
Ps 61:2-3.6-9 (R. v.6);
President Theodore Roosevelt was very near sighted and always carried two pairs of glasses with him, one for close up work and the other for seeing things at a distance. While speaking in the city of Milwaukee during his last general political campaign, he was shot by a man named Shrenk. Roosevelt was hurt but instead of permitting the attendance of a doctor, he finished his speech. Later, when a surgeon was examining his wound, he discovered that the steel spectacle case in his vest pocket had saved his life, for it had deflected the bullet from his heart. “That’s remarkable,” said the President, “I’ve always considered it a nuisance to carry two pairs of glasses, and especially those thick heavy ones I kept in the metal case. Yet God used it to save my life.”
Topic: God always cares.
Sometimes when one is faced with certain challenges of life, it looks as if either the whole world is coming to an end or that God has suddenly lost control. At a situation like this some do think that the only viable option is to take their own destiny into their own hands sometimes to the extent of doing what they will regret later. The words of the Psalmist: “what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (Ps 8:4) are normally meaningless for someone in such situation.
Despite the ugly face of one’s condition, God is still saying what He first said to Martha: “… you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.” (Lk 10:41-42). That one thing is what the gospel tells us:
…strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
The more we engage in unnecessary anxieties about the things of this world the more the word of eternal life becomes fruitless in us, cf. Matt 13:22. In the gospel according to Mark we read: “… the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Mk 4:19).
Even when one says with the Psalmist that no one cares for him or her, cf. Ps 142:4, God cares and our existence is the proof. Hence, the Psalmist also rightly wrote: “When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul” (Ps 94:19). God is not a hired labourer who flees in times of troubles, cf. Jn 10:13. We must therefore cast all our anxieties onto God for He cares about us, cf. 1Pt 5:7.
We read from the Psalm: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Ps 127:2). For the prophet Jeremiah, he who trusts in the Lord “is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jer 17:8). The gospel rightly reminds us of the fact that we will not be able to add as little as a single hour to our span of life by our worries.
As we think of doing it our own way, it is important to remember that “… the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1Cor 1:25). No matter what we pass through if God is for us nobody can be against us, cf. Rom 8:31. God is our salvation, our strength and our song. Let us trust and not be afraid, cf. Is 12:2. If we trust in God, people might take counsel together and say whatever they want to but they will all come to nought, Is 8:10. Happiness is for the people whose God is the Lord, cf. Ps 144:15. Even if everything fails including our lives, God remains the strength of those who trust in him forever, (cf. Ps 73:26) because God is truly good to the upright, cf. Ps 73:1.
Let us conclude with the first verse of the gospel pericope “No one can serve two masters ….” It is either one is for God or he or she is not. Either you allow God to do it His way or you do it your own way. Remember that God acts as it pleases him, cf. Ps 115:3. God cares even in the most despicable situations in life like in the case of President Roosevelt.
Bible Readings: Ps 127:1-2; Jer 17:5-13; Matt 13:18-23; Lk 21:34-36.
Thought for today: Do you know that God always cares for you?
Let us pray:
1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff–they comfort me.
5You prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long (Ps 23) – Amen.
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 Sagayanathan, A., (2009). Launching pad: Stories for Sunday homilies, year-A,B&C. Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, p. 85.