A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” – 9/1/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We can probably all remember back to when we were kids, and when little things, things like where we got to sit, and who we got to eat with, and who’s team we got to be on, were really big deals in our lives. As kids, we spent a lot of time worrying about these issues, and how we were going to fit in, and what others would think about us. Our pride, our sense of worth, and our own value in relationship to other friends and classmates, is something that doesn’t take very long to develop in us at all. Or take very long to become an issue in our lives. Remember the crazy things we’d do as kids to fit in? What we’d wear? Just look at the fashion trends of the 1970’s , 1980’s, and 1990”s, I mean, seriously, why did we wear some of those clothes? How long or how short our hair would be? What music we’d listen to? Even what books we’d read or what TV shows we’d watch, we oftentimes influenced by others. As children, even, our pride could get us caught up in some pretty crazy things!
Now, it would be awesome to be able to say that we outgrow this as adults, but, unfortunately, we know that’s not true. In fact, sometimes our adult pride is more outrageous and out of control that our pride as kids or youth. Sometimes, we will say or do some of the stupidest things to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others. Need a reminder? When’s the last time you went to a class reunion? Yeah, it’s crazy isn’t it? We still try to impress one another with our clothes, our looks, our cars, our jobs, and now as adults we can add our electronics. Why would we think that any of those things would make us better or more important? Sometimes, we just act like “older” kids. Our clothes are not going to make us a better person. Where we eat lunch is not going to make us more popular. Where we get our hair cut is not going to make us stand out in a crowd. Isn’t our true value much more than that?
Today’s Gospel calls all of us to humility. Pride is a dangerous thing. Pride, like selfishness, can lead to all kinds of sins. And so today, Jesus invites us to take a step back, or several steps back, in humility, and let God raise us up. Our true sense of worth doesn’t come from our clothes, or popularity, or beauty, or our possessions! We’ve got to get this right. Our sense of worth has to come first and foremost from the fact that we are children of God and are loved and treasured by Him, so much so, that He died on that cross for each one of us! You talk about a sense of worth! After that, after the Cross, doesn’t really matter what kind of car you drive, does it? Or what neighborhood you live in? Or who you get to eat lunch with in the cafeteria? No, Jesus gives us a completely new sense of self-worth, and it comes directly from God’s love and respect for each of us. We don’t ever have to worry about pride again. We can truly be completely humble because God has done away with all of that old craziness. It doesn’t work.
Let’s get this right, from this point on. Christianity, especially Catholic Christianity, is NOT about impressing others and looking good. Anybody can impress others and look good. Look at the Kardashians! And they are goobers! But God loves them too!
No, Christianity is about loving God and loving our brothers and sisters, and really letting God change our lives! And that can’t happen if we are full of pride and selfishness!
This Gospel text ends with an additional twist, when it reminds us to do things specifically for those who can’t repay us, the poor, the blind, the lame, and the crippled. Why is that? Is that to make us look good in the eyes of others? No, that’s not what St. Luke is talking about either. We are to do things for those who can’t repay us, because we are being promised that God will repay us, for every penny, at the resurrection of the righteous. We don’t have to worry about this. God has this all planned out and all taken care of. All we have to do is get rid of our pride, quit playing games, and humbly serve our God in all of His wonder and awe. His glory and honor is enough for all of us. We don’t need anything else to look good. And that glory and honor will make us feel better about ourselves, than anything else! Let us trust our God! He knows what we really need!
+ May He bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!