Homily on the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 02/09/2018
Thank you, Lord, for all your gifts to us,
Fill our hearts with the gift of your love
So that they may serve you in our neighbour, Amen.
The words from Deuteronomy “What great people, that God is so close as our God” (Deut 4:7) reveal to us today the gift of God in our lives. We should rejoice because with this gift God is close to us and we become admirable people. The gift of his love that he has poured into our hearts gives us identity and it leads us to questions like what am I? Why am I? And how should I move forward?
We love to give our parishes, our small Christian communities, and other church institutions identities by naming them after the saints’ names. But what truly reveal their identity is not so much the saintly names they have, neither the huge money they contribute, nor the active small Christian communities they are and all the externals we know about them, but the closeness of God to us which is expressed by his law in our hearts, the law of love. The way people love one another in their parishes, and their small Christian communities and other institutions, how their inner conversion leads them to the service of one another with love and joy, and how their integral relationship with Christ is lived in their concrete lives, reveals the truth of a Christian disciple who reaches out to others with love and not slander, envy, deceit or pride, and all evil things. Otherwise, with these evil things, our identity is hypocritical and disfigures the greatness of the people that God is so close and they are admired.
Present in our hearts is faith which is not merely the attachment but an expressed thirst for God to be close to us. What should emanate from the heart of a Christian disciple is the desire for God which is lived in concrete realities that form our lives. By becoming doers than just listeners/hearers, God is revealed in our actions and becomes close to us. The eucharistic celebration is such an action we can learn to do, to reach out to others, and make God close to them in their concrete life situations. This is the wisdom of Christianity as a religion of doing and not just hearing. The closeness of God to us touches us from within and makes us see our neighbour. The Saints felt that closeness and we can just mention one out of the several of them, Mother Teresa of Calcutta who made God be close to the poor and the destitute. My lived faith invites God to enter into my misery knowingly in order to clean me from my indifference and selfishness. Invite him to enter your heart and clean it to give the testimony of good lived faith than just intellectual faith.