lundi, septembre 11, 2006

Sermon for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Basilique Royale Saint Denis
Our Lord Jesus Christ asks us to have more confidence in God. After all, is He not our Father? God already takes care of His creation. He feeds the birds. Are not we of much more value than they? He clothes the lilies of the fields and he wouldn’t do it for us?

Dom Paul Delatte, who was the successor of Dom Gueranger in the Abbey of Solesmes, marveled every times he considered how much God cares and provides for His creation and most particularly for us. “ Man, this creature who is nothing and void is worth such immense consideration? Why such an amazing respect? Why do the hands of God become so tender? Is it because of the universal law of respect by which God treats all of His creatures, and especially the human creature, as the book of wisdom says: ‘ Thou disposest of us with great favor’ ?

We can wonder why God pays so much attention to us. The answer is certainly a mystery, but we can say that not only has God created us, but He has also adopted us. We had the opportunity, during the Sundays in summer, to hear Saint Paul speak of our filial adoption by God. He made us His children.

Today, with very simple words that everyone can understand, Jesus simply asks us to act as true children of God. A child knows that his parents are going to feed him. He knows that he has a house where he can live, eat and sleep. His parents supply his natural needs so a child can enjoy life without worries. Oh, the happy time of childhood!

Now, look at the Saints! Don’t they have the same carefreeness as children do regarding these earthly concerns of sustenance? They have heard and understood the words of Christ: “Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knows that you have need of all these things.” They followed this exhortation perfectly: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The search for the kingdom of God! This is what has motivated their life. This is what should motivate ours. What is the kingdom of God and its justice? It is the glory of God and salvation of souls as Saint Ignatius of Loyola recalls for us in his spiritual exercises which I strongly recommend that you to do. At the very beginning, Saint Ignatius tells us what “the principle and the foundation” is: “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.”
This should be the rule of our life that we should keep in our minds 24 hours a day. Then, Saint Ignatius develops: “ And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.

In other words, God has created us for a very precise end, and He gives us the means and help so that we can reach this end. Now, it is up to us. Do we want this end? If we do, then we have the things of creation in order to achieve it. If we don’t, that means we change God’s plan for us and make creature our end. Then Mammon – whatever it is – becomes our master. We prefer the creation to God Himself: this is sin! A sin is giving our preference to a creature rather than to God and to decide to make it an end rather than the means.

If you choose God as your end, then you can be sure without any doubt that He will take care of you and will give you everything you need in your life. Understand well: everything you need to reach your end, which is, first His Grace, and then means of support. In fact, He will give you even more, because He is a good Father.
What is also true is that the search for earthly things, when it is done for themselves and not for God, is a dangerous trap for souls. The world understands this very well and knows how to hypnotize us with commercials and advertising slogans. Don’t let it pollute your soul. Take a stand against it. God is your master. Don’t replace Him with another one.

May Our Lady help us to choose the good Master and to follow Him everywhere, especially on the Cross. She is also a Mother; a very good Mother who loves us.

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