February 17, 2019

A HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” – FEB. 17TH, 2019 – SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!    Peace and goodness to you this day!

We see people make bad choices all around us every day.   We try to not judge or make assumptions, but we wonder, don’t they know better?  Or don’t they know that that’s not right?  We don’t judge or hate the sinner, but we may very well not like the choice that they have made.    Maybe it’s when we see someone texting and driving at the same time.  Or maybe it when we see someone abusing alcohol or drugs, and endangering themselves and/or others.  Or maybe it when we see someone not being truthful with others, or even with themselves.  Then again, it might just be seeing people pasta out of can, and that might be enough.  But we can know right from wrong.  In fact, as followers of Jesus, we SHOULD know right from wrong.   Living a moral life is very important.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “Every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny, from which it derives the point of reference for its judgment, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct” CCC2244.  This is saying that there are rules for living properly in the world.  We know that we have federal and state laws, but these are really external rules.  These rules do not form us.  They can point out the bare minimum that we need to do to live together in peace and safety, but it is from God that we learn how to act in the world.  God’s instructions show us how we can be our best selves.

And how does God do this?  Listen to the words of Jesus in our Gospel reading today from St. Luke.  Jesus calls us to a much better life than the one that world shows us every day.

The Beatitudes are the heart and soul of Jesus’ preaching.  They tell us to love our enemies and love our neighbor.  At the very core of the sermon is Jesus’ teaching on what love is.   Jesus’ image of love is characterized by forgiveness and generosity.  These are characteristics of the Christian life.   This kind of love offers us hope in the midst of trials and tribulations.   And it shows us how loved we are by God, by virtue of our salvation through Christ.  This vision of love helps us to see the fullness of our lives as God intends, as God designed it.  It’s an awesome plan!  Again, listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Beatitudes respond to our natural desire for happiness.  This desire is of divine origin: God has put this desire in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it.” CCC1718.  You realize what this means, don’t you?  Our true happiness is only going to be found in God’s love.  You want to be truly “Blessed”, then try living by God’s way, and not the way of the world.

Unlike St. Matthew’s Gospel, St. Luke gives us four “woes” after his description of the Beatitudes.  He reminds us that there are consequences to straying from God’s vision of human happiness.  These “woes” remind us of the cries of impending distress that were used by the Old Testament prophets.  Luke has Jesus performing the same prophetic role of warning of the disaster that will come upon all whose worldly comfort and prosperity has turned them away from God and His right way of living this life.  The “woes” remind us that trying to find happiness

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in worldly wealth and prestige, only gives us a false sense of security, and leads us to forget our real dependence on God and His mercy.

My brothers and sisters, let us pay attention to God’s warnings today, about seeking happiness in the wrong places.   God is giving us the right choices to make, in the Beatitudes.  We don’t have to wonder or guess.  He is telling us clearly the way.  The Beatitudes are challenging us to be happy and blessed, not just for a little while, but for all eternity!

+  May God bless us this day as we seek His blessings,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…  AMEN!!!

St. Maria Goretti…      Pray for us!!!