+ HOMILY +
28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
11 OCT 2009
DEACON DANIEL COLLIER
ST. MALACHY CHURCH

       In our first reading Solomon is praying for and pleading for the spirit of wisdom. He prefers wisdom over anything else. He believes that if he has the spirit of wisdom that many good things will come to him. If we continue to pray for wisdom and it is granted by the grace of God, then we believe that nothing but good can come from that. We need to understand that all the good things that happen to us, and the bad, happen because of the will of God our Creator. We are here on this earth at the will of God; we are called to serve him and his people.

       We donít know why some people seem to have more wisdom and goods than others, but that must be the will of God. We all share the grace of God in many different ways. With the conscience and free will that God has given us we all make our own decisions, good or bad, and we learn to live with our decisions. Some of us will benefit greatly and others of us will just seem to get by.

       In our 2nd reading from the 4th chapter of Hebrews we understand that the Word of God is greater than anything imaginable, but that following those words and trying to live up to those dictates can be trying. We are encouraged to be diligent in trying to live our lives in cooperation with Godís word, even though we might be tired and weary from the demands of the Christian life.

       In the end we are accountable to God our creator for the way we choose to live our lives. We the faithful need to be conscience of our thoughts words and actions. For we never know when the end is near for our time here in this world on earth. We should always live our life as if it were the last day before we are called home to everlasting peace with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

       We are all called to serve in different ways, let us all pray for the wisdom to serve in a way most pleasing to our Creator, and that he will grant us everlasting peace for making the right decisions in our lifetime.

       In Markís Gospel today you have to feel for the wealthy man because he really believes he has done everything the Lord wants him to do to inherit eternal life.

       He has lived the good life and acquired many good things. He has lived by the commandments and stepping back now he wonders if he has done enough, he may be second guessing what he has done. He is extremely disappointed in Jesus response to sell all his earthly possessions and give to the poor and follow him. Jesus tells him compassionately, yet straightforward to do this one thing and ''you will have treasure in heaven''. He is encouraging us also to do good works, but these good works must be from the heart. Then Jesus speaks of how hard it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The apostles could not believe what they are hearing from their teacher, because they have heard in previous teachings that God would bestow good things to those who serve him and believe in him.

       In the Old Testament we hear that wealth and material goods are considered a sign of Godís favor. In the 1st chapter of Job, Satan acknowledges to God that Job has been blessed with many good things. Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters; he had over 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen.

       Satan states that ''You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land.'' When the Lord puts Job to the test and takes all his possessions, Job is beside himself at all his losses, but he acknowledges that ''The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.''

       In Isaiah chapter 3, we hear ''Happy the just, for it will be well with them, the fruit of their works they will eat.'' So with just these two passages we can see why the apostles might be astonished of what Jesus said because they seem to be in direct contradiction of the Old Testament concept.

       The first two times I read this passage I was somewhat perplexed at how to explain what Jesus was saying, because I felt he was saying that it was wrong to be rich. Upon further reflection and re-reading the passage a third and fourth time and doing some research, I came to understand that he was not saying it was wrong to be rich and well off, but we must be diligent in how we use our wealth and power that comes with these riches.

       We here at St. Malachy have benefited greatly from some who shared their wealth to enrich our worship space here in our new church. We as a parish continue to provide support to two other parishes, St Marguerite and St Andrew on the east side of Indianapolis.

       Wealth and power can often generate a since of false security and lead us down the wrong path. It can cause us to become vain and forget that if it were not for the grace of God we may not be enjoying the good life we might seem to have. So Jesus makes it clear that we can not achieve salvation strictly by accumulating wealth and power. We understand from our Gospel today achievement of salvation is beyond human capability and depends solely on the goodness of God who offers it as a gift.

       In closing let us hear the words of the first two verses of Psalm 128, ''Happy are all who fear the Lord, who walk in the ways of God. What your hands provide you will enjoy; you will be happy and prosper.''

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