February 26, 2017 Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr Jim Miller

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 26, 2017

Reading 1IS 49:14-15

Responsorial PsalmPS 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Reading 21 COR 4:1-5

AlleluiaHB 4:12

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:24-34

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Homily— February 25 & 26, 2017 

  In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah we have a wonderful feminine image of God as a mother as we reflect on the words, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”  Just think about that wonderful bond between mother and child as they look into each other’s eyes with love and the child grows in trust of this adult human being to whom they are dependent for the gift of life.   God tells us even if our own mother could forget us God will never forget us.  Don’t forget that God has created us.   God loves us.   If God forgot us for a moment we would cease to exist!  Thank you God for remembering me.   Help me to remember you in all that I say and do.

  In the Gospel Jesus tells His disciples that they cannot serve two masters.  “You cannot serve God and mammon.”   Mammon has the meaning of property, not only money but any possession.  What does money do for you?  It may give you some security to know that you can buy what you want and pay the bills that come your way.  It gives us the freedom to do a lot of things like travel and take a vacation.   It may even give us a feeling that we are important.   Jesus calls us to be aware of and look at what God is doing for us.  Remember the song of Bobby McFerrin a few years ago “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?   Jesus tells us “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear.”   Worry will not help you to live longer but some caution in what you do may help.   Worry will only decrease our time on earth and decrease the time that we are happy.   Jesus says that our heavenly Father knows that we need to eat and drink and put on clothes to wear but “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.  Do not worry about tomorrow. . .”   ‘The ultimate goal of all our activity must be the highest value, the kingdom of God, which is here defined as justice.  In Matthew seeking the kingdom and seeking justice are not two distinct quests; he wants to say that there is no authentic search for the kingdom except in a quest whose immediate goal is justice.   The justice envisaged is not a justice in God alone but one that we are to produce on earth ourselves.’(According to the Jerome Biblical Commentary)

  Food, clothing, and shelter are necessities of daily living, and we must attend to them responsibly.  The issue raised by Jesus is to provide for these needs without making them our master.  Living out of the conviction that God cares and provides for us, our only worry ought to be how wholeheartedly we seek God’s kingdom and live God’s righteousness.  Only then do our hearts over flow with God’s fullness of Life.

  What are the real necessities of life for us?   Can we be happy with less material goods?   What runs our lives?   Do we spend more when we have a debit card or a credit card?   Do we stop and ask the question ‘do I really need this?’. 

  When I was ordained I chose a passage from today’s second reading to characterize my goal for being a priest.  “Thus should one regard us:  as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”   I have times when I feel I do a good job at being a servant and a steward but there are other times I might do things out of habit or boredom or some desire.   At times I make good choices like going to see the Young Irelanders Friday night and enjoy the Irish music, wit, and Irish dancing.   I think the challenge is to make sure that God is first and gets some of my best time, not just the time I have left over or squeeze in.  

  God has certainly blessed my life as a priest and I am sure God has blessed your life.   Me we live as God’s servants and as good stewards of God’s gifts to us.