HOMILY: 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020
One of the most moving parts in the priestly ordination is the promise of the vow of obedience. The ordained priest will be asked to kneel down just in front of the Bishop then will hold the hands of the priest and will ask him; do you promise respect and obedience to me and to my successor? Ours is a firm answer of I do which means whatever you asked of me for as long as it is for the good of the Church and the people of God, I will have to follow. It is an image of humility on the part of the priest and assurance on the part of the Bishop. Wherever the Bishop sends me, I will gladly go. This is the meaning of pastoral charity.
We are now on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are invited to reflect on the meaning of charity. Charity has no boundaries. Saint Matthew in the parable stated “take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same that I give you. Am I not allowed to do what belongs to me?” Jesus would like us to know that God wanted everybody to have abundance in life. He wanted all of us to be happy. He wanted us to be thankful not only of what we have but also to be happy of what others have in life. What we have are not only fruits of our diligence, they are blessings for us. Farmers knew it very much, working all day long is not a guarantee of abundant harvest, and bountiful harvest is indeed God’s blessings for farmers. That is what farmers are actually the most generous people on earth.
Charity requires humility. The prophet Isaiah vehemently proclaims “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways are not my ways, says the Lord”. Too frequently we create in our minds an unreal God, made in our own image and likeness, instead of realising that we are made in His image and likeness and that He is the eternal God and universal Creator. Every time we pray whether in mass or in private, when we do a lot of talking, it’s pride. The more we talk, the more will not understand the wisdom of God. Humility is allowing Jesus to speak to us. Speak Lord, your servant is listening. The more we listen, the more will understand the thoughts and ways of God. Listening helps us fulfilling the will of God in our life.
Charity is not so much about what we can do but what God can do for us. For to me living is Christ and dying is gain”. Many times in our life, we are self oriented people. Our goal is so much on things what we can do, have and accomplish in our life. This is also very true with our relationship with God. We have to do many good things hoping that they will earn us life in eternity. What Jesus is telling us to be Jesus oriented person. It is about what God can do for us, it is focused on what God can give us and it is so much losing ourselves to the extent of dying. In Christ, we will give until it hurts and nothing to give because it is in dying and self emptying that we will surely gain life in eternity.