HOMILY FOR SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME


In the Liturgy of the word today there is the most distinctive call to the individual human heart to enter deeply into, almost, mystical relationship with the eternal God as he is made especially manifest to us in Christ. The prophet Jeremiah waxes beautifully on this subject of relationship with God as he glimpses God through the shadows of the Old Testament Spirituality: “A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord …. he is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream, when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green and it never ceases to bear fruit”.

The Responsorial Psalm continues in the similar vein; “Happy is the man who has placed his trust in the Lord”. The Psalmist concludes that failing to do this will render us unto winnowed chaff which shall be driven away by the wind! This presents us with sobering food for thought. In the Second Reading from St. Paul’s First Letter to The Corinthians we are tumbled to the heart of God’s Revelation and its implications for us: If there is no Resurrection of the dead, Christ has not been raised and therefore humanity in the last analysis reaches the absurdity of perishing.

Paul continues, "But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep”. The sleep of death will come upon us, but Christ, the First Fruits, has blossomed and we reach completion with him. God’s revealed love for men and women becomes complete and absolute in the Death and Resurrection of The Lord. If we believe in this mystery it is as certain as the dawn that we will become people of prayer. In and through prayer, even in this life, we touch the mystery of The Lord’s Resurrection. In doing so we are in relationship not only with Jesus but with the Blessed Trinity, now we are at peace for now we are resting in eternal community. Now we are like the tree that is planted beside the flowing stream.

When we turn the page into today’s Gospel we discover the key with which we will pass through the door into the heart of eternity. “Blessed are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God”. The type of poverty at stake here is knowing that one is owned by God and in that knowledge, one comes to know that all one’s gifts and advantages are also owned by him. Now with boundless confidence we can let go and be carried by Him. Now comes the Blessedness of true freedom. It was in total surrender to the father on the Cross that Christ revealed the Resurrection. He is the first fruits and we are the necessary consequence of the harvest of life which He revealed. Our complete abandonment to God will allow creative life and light to flow through us into the world that longs for meaning and hope.

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