A HOMILY FOR THE EIGHTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME –CYCLE “A” – 3/2/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum!
I ran into a gentleman a couple of days ago, who asked if he could speak with me for just a second. And of course, it is never just a second. But the man went into telling me about all that he had going on. He said that he had a mountain of credit card debt. I’ve lost my job. My car is being repossessed. And our house is in foreclosure. And he went on to say that he wasn’t worried about it. My first thought was, Wow, he’s obviously already read the Gospel for this weekend, that tells us NOT to worry. So I asked this man, you’re really not worried about it? “No, he said, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me, and that way, I don’t have to thing about it.” “I guess that’s good”, I responded, not really knowing what to say. “How much does your professional worrier charge for his services? I asked. “Fifty-thousand dollars a year,” he answered. “Fifty-thousand dollars a year? Are you kidding? I asked. Where are you going to get that kind of money? “I don’t know, the man replied. “That’s his worry, not mine!
Now, clearly, I think we would all agree, this man is lacking pretty substantially in responsibility. His great tally of debt certainly confirms this for us. For so many of us, we hear this man’s story, and we’d say that he ought to be worried! He should be very concerned. You see, for most of us, we equate responsibility with worry. You show us a person with a responsibility, and we’ll show you a person that has a lot to worry about. So maybe it is somewhat surprising to us as we come to Mass today to hear Jesus caution all of us about worrying. Did you hear Jesus’ words today? Do NOT worry about your life! Do not worry about what you will eat or drink. Do not worry about your body or what you will wear. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Well, we know that’s not true. In fact, there may be nothing else more dangerous to our physical health! Worry and stress are two of the greatest enemies of our bodies. They are the unseen source of our headaches, backaches, heartaches, and belly aches. They contribute to everything from obesity to obscenity, from constipation to diarrhea, and from impatience to impotence. Worry gives us knotted stomachs, sleepless nights, high blood pressure, and low morale. Worry makes our tempers short and our days long. Worry can cause indigestion, irritation, chest pain, and muscle strain. To worry makes no sense whatsoever. It has no positive value.
Faith is the exact opposite of worry. If we’re going to be people of Faith, than we’ve got to quit worrying. God is asking us to trust Him completely with every aspect of our lives, and yes, that includes our own deaths. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that Worry is a form of atheism, for it betrays a lack of Faith and trust in God. For us as Catholic Christians then, worry becomes something to root out of our lives. And we replace it with true Faith! In many, many ways, we really do have a “professional worrier” who is taking care of every one of our messy situations. And that “professional worrier” is the Lord. Jesus has us covered. We don’t need to worry. We don’t need to be afraid. We are to trust and believe and know that God is with us, and that no matter what, God IS going to take care of us!
To turn ourselves over to Him, to truly give ourselves up to a complete Faith, to trust in His Divine Mercy and Providence, then becomes the only way to live! And once you have experienced that kind of freeing peace, there really is no other better way of living this life. And you don’t know or understand what I’m talking about, then you’ve got to give this Faith thing more of a chance.
This weekend, we’re giving each family a copy of Matthew Kelly’s book, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. This is a great book. This book can help each and every one of us have more Faith. However, you do have to read this book to get something out of it. It won’t work to just put it on your book shelf. So please, pick up a copy after Mass today, and let’s read this together for Lent. We can all have more Faith. And with Lent this week, the Church gives each one of us the chance to grow more Faith in our own life.
+ God bless us this week, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!