Not Going Anywhere
Sunday Homily for June 22, 2008
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
By Fr. John Foley, S.J.
Jesus is encouraging to us in Sunday’s Gospel. “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid.”
God loves us each in the tiniest detail! God being is infinite, so he has time and space for all persons on earth and above and under the earth. There is a corollary about our ability to receive the love of God.
Each human being is created to be a dwelling place for God and his love.
We can never be truly human unless the greatest value in each of our lives is to receive the love of God and give it to the people around us.
I realize that our culture would never buy such a proposition. On television we see people seeking ease, beauty, convenience, pleasure and so on. Quite often on cable channels and now on broadcast channels, one could conclude that the human person is made for one purpose only: sex.
Someone has said that commercials, without realizing it, are built to encourage the seven Capital Sins (pride, gluttony, avarice, lust, sloth, envy and anger). Jot down that list, put it by your television and put a check mark behind each one when it is promoted.
Alright, we human beings get attached to or fascinated by many things. But if each of us is created to be a place where God and his love can dwell, then any other fascination we have should be left aside if it begins to take over God’s place.
So if I am attached to wealth, or my stamp collection, or my good looks, or drugs, or even my mate—in a way that makes God’s love take second (or third or fiftieth) place—then my life is disordered and I am headed for a fall.
How do you react to this corollary? “You mean I am to love God only and not care about my friends, my family, music, sports, food, health, etc.? Not care about anything except God?”
Not at all. Healthy love of all these things has its roots in love of God. All things get their own individual value from God’s indwelling. Each person, each blade of grass receives its full value of love because it proceeds from God’s gentle hand.
Whoever takes this proposition seriously will live a full human life.
But I can hear the reader saying right now that it is too difficult. So many things get in the way. Have a look through your life and see how often you forget God, who is your source. Peter remembered that he had actually deserted Jesus at least three times and he said “Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man.” How many times have you and I been the same way?
So, does the proposition really apply just to those who never sin?
Not at all. “If you sin, I will not leave you, I will love you,” God has said throughout the ages. The cross of Jesus is the ultimate statement of that truth. God’s love remains constant and dear, in spite of the rampant sin in all of us and each of us. His love will make us get closer to the goal.
Rejoice. No matter how many hairs you have on your head, God’s love does not go away. Receive it.