Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - Final Values
For the Christian, life has many goals, but there is one ultimate goal towards which all other goals should contribute, namely, ultimate union with the Author of Life. From God we came, to God we go! All the readings today reinforce this understanding of life

Wisdom 11:22--12:1 - The author of the Book of Wisdom praises the loving concern of God over all things; but, especially for people, the masterpieces of creation. If people sin, God wants only that they should repent and be restored to their original dignity.

2 Thess. 1: 11, 2:2 - Paul is pleading with the Thessalonians to live lives worthy of their calling as followers of Christ; he advises them to get on with day to day living and stop worrying about pseudo prophets and their predictions about the end of the world and the second coming of Christ..

Luke 19: 1-10 - Enthusiasm, commitment, determination were characteristics Christ looked for in people - persons like Peter, Mary Magdalene, James and John. Today's account of Zacchaeus' conversion is a classic example of such people. Zacchaeus, the pushy little publican and successful business man shows initiative and enthusiasm as he seeks to make contact with Jesus.

Point 1: - Some years back a radio/TV programme captured the attention of millions throughout the word, particularly the English speaking segment. It was Bishop Fulton Sheen's programme "Life is Worth Living". The opening, dramatic lines spoken by the Bishop as he introduced the programme were -"Is life worth living, or is it dull and monotonous? Life is monotonous if it is meaningless; it is not monotonous if it has purpose".

There are many people in our country today for whom life is full of frustration and unhappiness. They can be found among the aged who feel that life has passed them by; amongst the middle aged who are having difficulty recognising that they have spent half their lives getting nowhere and they will spend the rest of their lives staying there. They can be found amongst school leavers who are unable to find employment and amongst those who are retrenched after years of service. For some, when released from the immediate goals set by day-to-day living, they sink themselves in the oblivion of drink or some other form of drug addiction. Because they are frustrated, they say that life has let them down, disregarding the fact that life is not lost in one single act, "life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the small uncaring ways"

Point 2: The Christian response to this situation is that people find fulfillment where their immediate goals form part of a master plan; and if, as sometimes happen, the immediate goals fail, the ultimate goal still remains. All the wheels do not come off the cart! Christ described Himself as "The Way, the Truth and the Life", and, in so doing, has offered to us sound guide lines showing the Way to fulfilled living. We want Truth without its shadow , error; and we want Life without its shadow, death.

Conclusion: Those who followed Christ, invariably, were enthusiastic, determined and committed. Before coming into contact with Christ, there had been imbalance in their lives as they directed their energies to this or that goal. After meeting Christ, total meaning came into their lives enabling them to withstand the ups and downs of every day living. May we , too, draw on that same source of strength and direction to bring balance into our lives. In this way, regardless of the ups and downs, life will always have meaning

Scriptural reference: "To this end we always pray for you that God may make you worthy of his call; and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power".  ( 2. Thess. 1:11)