6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
14 FEB 2010
DEACON DANIEL COLLIER
ST. MALACHY CHURCH
As we hear today Jesus was preaching on a plain at some busy crossroads. Apparently as he traveled there were always crowds that followed. In this instance Jesus was not really preaching to the crowds but was talking with his many disciples and the people were just listening in.
When I first read this I had the vision of one crossroads that is so familiar to most of us here in Brownsburg. With the new town hall facility north of the intersection of Main and Green and the huge grassy area out in front of it, I could envision a crowd gathering around a speaker who might be passing through and listening in on what he might be saying.
Jesus was preaching to the people who were already committed to him and were believers in the words and thoughts he shared with them. They were truly the first followers of Jesus. The rest of the crowd was just hanging around out of curiosity because they probably had nothing better to do.
Unlike in Matthew's ''Sermon on the Mount'' where Mathew refers to the ''poor in spirit'' and the people being hungry ''for righteousness'', Lukeís Gospel refers to the underprivileged as being simply poor and hungry. The poor and hungry following Jesus and the disciples, that day, could have been the inspiration for Jesus to proclaim the message we hear today in Lukeís Gospel.
In the CCC we read were ''The church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ'' (CCC- 2419).
We are all called to be a witness to Christ in the way we live our lives and how we interact with one another. The CCC also tells us that ''The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great powers to draw men to the faith and to God'' (CCC-2044).
So with the guidance of this ''supernatural spirit'' whom we consider to be the ''Holy Spirit'', we should go forth in our daily lives trying to live our lives in caring for the poor and hungry, the sick, and those known as the marginalized in our society.
The one thing I believe that keeps us from dedicating our lives to fully living out this Gospel 100% of the time is the fact that we must work in the secular world to get by. We all have bills to pay and we must put food on the table to feed our family, and we must provide shelter for them. We canít expect the government to do it for us. We must work to keep the economy going so we can all thrive and prosper so as to maintain a lifestyle we have become accustomed to.
''Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community'' (CCC-2426). For those of us who have jobs and go to work day in and day out, we should continually thank God for the grace given us to be able to work and to provide for our families.
The church, knowing full well that not every person can find work, at a decent living wage, or canít work for various physical or mental reasons, tells us through the Gospel that we must reach out to these people and help them get by.
The CCC speaks of ''work'' saying ''Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty.'' (CCC-2427)
As we go about our daily jobs in the, secular world, let us remember that our work honors the Creatorís gifts and talents received from him. We all have different talents and bring many different backgrounds to this community. Remember we are all one Body made up of different parts. The body is us here today as one in community but coming together as many different parts.
At the end of todayís Gospel, Jesus warns those who continue to live the good life, with no concern of those around them, that they may have a good time here in this earthly life, but woe unto them when they reach the end of their mortal lives and try to enter the heavenly kingdom so often spoken about in our Holy Scriptures.
Our good fortunes here today have not so much to do with what we have done for ourselves, but by the grace of our Heavenly Father we have achieved many of our goals.
I remember a song that goes ''I did it my way''. Prior to my entering into formation training, I used to think I had accomplished everything up to that point on my own. I used to think that I ''did it my way''. Through further training and introspection, and prayer, I have come to understand that I could not have achieved the things I had done with my life, without the divine intervention of our heavenly father, through the gift or the Holy Spirit being with me.
To those of us here today who are looking for employment, or reemployment, our prayers are with you that you may find meaningful employment soon, so as to go to work to fulfill Godís plan for you and your family.
For those of us who work day in and day out, let us approach our job as a gift from God, and let us strive to help those less fortunate than ourselves, in any way possible.
For many of us today who are ''retired'' we thank you for the work you have done, and the work you continue to do these days during your ''retirement''.
I know many people here today work more now than they did when they were earning a paycheck in the working world. There are many people working in the church in a volunteer capacity, there are many people who contribute financially to specific needs in the church.
I would like to quote the CCC one more time. ''Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.'' (CCC-2428) The church in her wisdom provides these thoughts and concerns in the CCC.
In Lukeís Gospel today he neither condemns nor extols a particular social class, pitting rich against poor. Instead he stresses, as we must, the need for all of us to recognize our own poverty and rely on God rather than ourselves.
May God bestow his blessings on all those who work and all those seeking to work, so we can continue to support our growing community in faith and love as we are commanded to do in today in Lukeís Gospel.+