lundi, août 14, 2006

Sermon for 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear Brethren,

Let me ask you a question: is there anything you have that was not given to you by God? Since you all know your catechism, I already hear you saying: “No, of course not!” Now, let me ask you another question: then, why do you act as if it were not given by God?

At this point, you might be not understand what I am saying. Let us be more clear. You have received everything you have from God. Each one of you can draw up a list of your own gifts: your life, your supernatural life, which we call Divine Grace, your natural gifts or talents, your spouse, your family, your home, your car, your daily food etc… In one way or another God is at the origin of whatever you have, even though you don’t necessarily think of it in your day to day lives.

We believe – it is a Catholic truth – that everything comes under God’s government. Consequently, if you have such and such a gift from God, it is because there is a good reason. First, consider your life. You didn’t came to the existence by mere chance, but because God wants this. You don’t have a certain ability or a certain handicap by a kind of whim of fate. You don’t even have a certain material good just because you deserve it or because you worked to obtain it, but also because God allows you to have it. We don’t deny the existence of secondary causes and freedom of will, but we simply recognize that God’s Providence is a reality, as the Church teaches. Once again, everything comes under God’s government or Providence.

So for what reason do you have so many gifts from God? Let me answer by asking another question. Why do you exist? Since you still know your catechism I hear you again answering: “ because God has created us in order to worship Him, to serve Him and to love Him.” So, here you have the answer for the previous question. Everything you have is for the glory of God and I would add, not only every thing you have, but also everything you are, your very being. Nothing is for you! All is for God.

At the light of today’s reading, I see two lessons we can learn from this truth. First, we should be humble like the tax collector of the Gospel. Sins are truly ours and the worst is that we use God’s gift to offend Him with our sins. If you do good, like the Pharisee, then consider that the good you do comes from God and this good is for His glory, not ours.
The second lessons is that there is absolutely no reason to be jealous of the others. Their gifts, their talents and their possessions are for God’s glory. If they use them for this purpose, we should rejoice. If they don’t, we should be sorry and pray for them. But be sure that God gives you what you need. If He gives you more, then be prudent and use this surplus for his glory.

Let us turn to Our Lady and ask her to give us wisdom, so that we can make good use of gifts with humility and gratitude.

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