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Expressing our desire for God

Homily for 19th Sunday in Ordinary time year B 2012

  1. I am going to tell you a secret and you can tell this to anyone- God has written something in our own hearts, in each one of us. Do you know what this is? It is ‘the desire for  him’ (CCC 27). Yes, whether we like it or not God has already put that there. That is why, we couldn’t really say with much honesty and transparency that we are happy with everything we’ve got and with who we have become if we don’t put God  in the picture. ‘Only in God will we find the truth and happiness that we are searching for, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  2. Interestingly this desire for him, is not always strong. It just comes up especially when we are confronted with a difficult situation or in big challenges in life. The Olympics in London is one avenue wherein this desire is really evident. According to the report, in the Olympic Village there is a considerable number of daily mass attendance. It is amazing.  Many of us here might have also heard of the terrible flood happening in the Philippines, affecting almost 2 million people, displacing thousands of families, and destroying houses and properties. Yet, the desire for God is on the fore. People would not just ask for food which is really their immediate need, but also for prayers. One scene that really moved me is this woman walking on the waist-deep water carrying nothing but the statue of the Holy Infant of Prague. I don’t know if that’s the only thing she could salvage from her house. But it really speaks of her faith, that even in the midst of a desperate situation, she hangs on to her faith.
  3. Jesus however, would want  that we would not just wait for a desperate situation or a difficult challenge to allow God to be real in our lives. That’s why he has given us the Eucharist (his body and blood) to be our food (necessary for life) and to be taken as regular as it should be for us to survive in the journey of life.  If food becomes so part of us, so must also be the Eucharist. Even more. The Eucharist that we partake must be a living force for us to go on with life and to go on with our mission. Pope Benedict would remind us this when he wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation sacramentum caritatis (The Sacrament of love). When Jesus said: ‘The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world,’ the pope understands this as the revelation of the true meaning of the gift of his life for all people (SC 88). In the Eucharist we have an experience of the true and eternal life. This experience must therefore be shared with all people in our ‘service of charity towards our neighbours.
  4. St Paul also in  our Second Reading today  gives us hints to express this desire for God in our lives daily. St Paul calls us to imitate God himself  by following Christ in loving and in giving himself up for all of us.
  5.  And our First Reading today, the example of Elijah is another way to express our desire for God. We heard that he almost gave up with his mission. ‘Lord I have had enough, take my life…’ he prayed. But he listened to God still through his angels, and ate the food prepared for him (prefiguration of the Holy Eucharist) and he survived the journey.
  6. As we continue today let’s pray that we continue to desire God over everything for only by desiring him that we gain and can enjoy everything to its fullness. Amen. 

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