Homily – February 17, 2019

There is nothing blessed about having to worry about where your next meal will come from. There is nothing blessed about trying to survive on a minimum wage. There is nothing blessed about living on the street or in a shelter. There is nothing blessed about grieving over the death of a spouse or the death of a child. There’s nothing blessed about grieving over a failed marriage or a broken relationship. There is nothing blessed about being excluded from the company of others because of the color of your skin, or the church, synagogue or mosque you attend. There is nothing blessed about being ridiculed and excluded because of your sexual orientation or a physical or mental disability.

These realities of being excluded, rejected or belittled can make a person bitter, harden a person’s heart, sour their outlook on life and limit their ability to have any relationships.

The reality of poverty, exclusion and loneliness are not things we look for or want in our lives. Can we remember that we believe in and follow Jesus Christ? He was born in poverty, earned his bread by the sweat of his brow, was rejected by his own town folk, rejected by people of power, betrayed and abandoned by close friends, tried and convicted as a common criminal and condemned to the shameful death of crucifixion but he was vindicated in his resurrection.

In our second reading Paul maintains that ‘if Christ be not risen then we are still in our sins, Good Friday was a waste. But Christ is raised.

For our faith in Christ to be fruitful, we need to believe that there is a life after this one where there is no more hunger, weeping, or hatred. If we can trust the truth that after the crucifixions of this life, there is the life of the resurrection when God himself will wipe all tears away, then and only then will you be fruitful in love, joy, peace, and patience.

This is not pie in the sky. As followers of Christ we are called to do whatever we can and support in any way we can all those good people who are burdened with poverty and homelessness. Good people who suffer discrimination because of their racial background or sexual orientation.

May we always remember these words of Jesus; ‘whatever you do to one of these least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me, you do for me.’