Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Rosalino Reyes Dizon)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

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Live in love (Eph 5, 2)

Jesus lifts up and strengthens those who are crushed, and wakes up and disturbs those who are self-complacent.

God encourages us who feel lost, alone, abandoned, who think we are the only left to fight for the truth. He feeds and strengthens us so that we may continue on and get to know a new face of God.

The Lord deigns, yes, to reveal himself in a gentle whisper, not in a hurricane, earthquake or fire. He calls into question the ways of the tempestuous, vehement and vociferous “culture or religion warriors.” He makes clear that he is not any less powerful when he works silently and peacefully, in an ordinary manner.

We surely do not pray that fire come down from heaven to consume our enemies, but do we not perhaps demand something out of the ordinary or astonishing, something mysterious, awesome, fascinating? Do we not imitate those who want to see a sign so they may believe? Jesus assures them, as though to draw out the fuller sense of the sign of the loaves and fish, that he is himself the bread of life that the Father gives to mortal human beings who long for eternal life. But instead of believing, they show themselves as unbelieving as those Israelites who repeatedly grumbled during their wandering in the desert.

And the stumbling block apparently has to do with this: left perplexed is the logic of those who see themselves being quite familiar with Jesus, whose reason dictates to them that someone like them, someone making his dwelling among them, could not possibly have come down from heaven. They definitely cannot accept him who comes to his own people.

We too run the risk of rejecting the Sent One of God because we overlook what is human, ordinary, familiar, because we pay no attention to our own, to those who are bone of our bones, flesh of our flesh. Could it be that we fail to find God and to know his ways because we turn our backs on our own?

Jesus perks up our ears with “scandalous” teachings to wake us up from our customary logic and our absolute certainties, and to invite us to let ourselves be taught intimately by God. The Word made flesh who became poor for our sake seeks to open our minds so that we may understand that in the kingdom of God “the poor are the royalty,” as St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac put it.

To receive the food and drink that Jesus gives, then, is to welcome with effective affection the least of his brothers and sisters. Thus is eternal life guaranteed to us.

Lord, give life, strength and wisdom to us who partake of the table of your Word and Sacrament.

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