HOMILY: 12TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020
Everybody wants assurance for the future so we purchased or pay for various kinds of insurances. As far I know there are at least two kinds of major kinds of policies. Economic insurance which covers employment insurance, pension plan, car insurance, property insurance, crop insurance, etc... On the bracket of life insurance, we have health insurance extended health insurance, critical illness insurance, loan protection fee and death benefits. We are dying to pay for them because we want to preserve ourselves. I have to work diligently not only to eat and drink but to pay for the different insurances that I have contracted. Obviously, the bucket lists of insurances are meant to insure material abundance, preservation of our life and delaying our death. These modern day lifestyle demands made us worry and anxious.
We are now on the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time. How did we arrive at this point in our life that it seems our life revolves in self- preservation? Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans recalled the effect of sin in the world. “Just as sin came into the world through one man, death came through sin”. The effect of sin is not just shattered relationships, broken dreams, hurting hearts and tears on my pillows but death primarily. Death is not, first of all, the separation of soul from earth body but it is man’s disconnect from the source of life. In paradise, when man rejected God, we were cursed; from now on you will eat by the sweat of your brow until you're buried in the ground. (Gen. 3.19) In paradise, they lived happily and abundantly in the presence of God, there’s nothing to worry because God is always right there to provide and to guide. However, outside paradise, no more God by their side, they have to work hard day in and day out under the scorching heat of the sun. They have to make hard labour to preserve their lives because they afraid to die. Saint Augustine is indeed right when he said my heart is restless until it rests in you. Apparently, it’s sad to think that our lives only revolve around work, money, leisure and pleasure.
Our faith is greater than our fears. He wants us to enjoy the fullness of life and savour its sweetness. Jesus in the gospel of Matthew is telling us, “Do not fear those who kill the body but rather the one who can destroy both body and soul”. Focusing too much on things that can only preserve our earthly existence burned us out but paying attention to the One who has power to preserve our souls in eternity makes our life easy and our soul refreshing. Humans are more important than sparrows. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
We need confidence in God more than self- complacency. Prophet Jeremiah is exhorting us to praise the Lord, for he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers”. Give your little time to God and nourish yourself with Jesus. Then we will realize that human labour is not so much for self preservation but it is a participation in God’s work of creation that by doing so we give glory to God our creator.