Fr Noel's Homilies

8th Sunday in OT, 2011, Year A

Buzzword ƒ‚'€“ Being a Worry Wart:ƒ‚‚‚ Everyone, from time to time, is tormented by worries of one kind or another.ƒ‚‚‚  If we do manage to rid ourselves of one worry, we easily come up with something else to carry on about!

Isaiah 49: 14-15:ƒ‚‚‚  This reading from the Prophet Isaiah makes clear reference to the sense of abandonment felt by the Chosen People during the Babylonian Captivity.

1 Cor. 4:1-5: Paul is disappointed with the Corinthian community constantly arguing with him and with each other.ƒ‚‚‚  He makes his position clear ƒ‚'€“ he is guided by one authority ƒ‚'€“ the Lord! and his critics can take a long, running jump!

Matt. 6: 24-34: With the Gospel we have yet another of those guidelines which, left to ourselves, we would find impossible. What Christ is asking of his disciples is to develop an attitude of mind rather than a precise law to be followed literally.

Point 1: There is no doubt that todayƒ‚'€™s society provides more than enough reasons to become a worry wart. ƒ‚'€œEach day has enough trouble of its ownƒ‚'€ (Matt. 6:34) There are the external problems ƒ‚'€“ concern for oneƒ‚'€™s family and how they will turn out. There is concern over the quality of life at the national level; and the international scene where injustice and corruption appear to be the order of the day does not give us much to write home about.ƒ‚‚‚  Nearer home there are recurring problems of health, the sudden appearance of grey hairs, a bulging waist line or, even worse, a receding hair line! More seriously, there are those feelings of jealousy I feel at being passed over; the dissatisfaction when I see what I am and what I could be or what I should be, in my opinion!

Point 2:Far from being able to solve all, or any, of these every day problems, there are times when we feel unequal to face them.ƒ‚‚‚  For those who have grown up within the frame work of a religious culture, the situation is not so desperate.ƒ‚‚‚  Because of Christƒ‚'€™s promise ƒ‚'€“ƒ‚'€œI have come that you may have life in its fullnessƒ‚'€ we recognise that there are broader horizons to living than the ordinary, mundane daily experiences we are so familiar with.

Conclusion:There are critics who would describe todayƒ‚'€™s Gospel reading as ƒ‚'€œnonsenseƒ‚'€!ƒ‚‚‚  At first reading, it does appear to be extreme, even irresponsible, but we know that Christ was not irresponsible or fanatical.ƒ‚‚‚  So what is His argument?ƒ‚‚‚  It is this - not every decision we make is of equal importance in the light of our eternal destiny. Christ is specific on this ƒ‚'€“ƒ‚'€œSet your hearts on the kingdom first and on His righteousnessƒ‚'€.ƒ‚‚‚  That does not mean we are to neglect our undertakings as citizens; but we must learn to distinguish between the necessary and the not so important as we seek to strengthen our relationship with the Almighty.

Scriptural reference:ƒ‚‚‚  ƒ‚'€œIn God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from Him aloneƒ‚'€‚‚¦.ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚  ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚  ƒ‚‚‚ In God alone be at rest my soul, for my hope come from himƒ‚'€‚‚¦.ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚  ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚  ƒ‚‚‚ ƒ‚‚‚ Take refuge in God all you people. Trust him at all timesƒ‚'€‚‚¦. (Psalm 61)