Feb. 12, 2017: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Click to hear Audio Homily
“We are so blessed.” This is not the kind of response you would expect from people who had just been through a tornado that destroyed their homes and property. Yet, that was their first response when Fr. Joe and I visited folks amidst their damaged homes. They remarked how they were touched by neighbors and strangers who showed up to patch the roof with blue tarps, to clean up the yard, and to offer a comforting presence. With the electricity poles and power lines twisted and mangled like twigs, many folks were without power for a couple of days. The loud hum of the generators in our area was reminiscent of the days of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.
Many who were in the path of the tornado said the tornado only lasted a few seconds to a minute. Yet, they learned invaluable lessons that they wanted to share with all of us after their traumatic experiences. They recognized that material things can be easily replaced, but not people. As a result, even those who have experienced great loss are thankful to God for the miracle of being alive. The loss of material things helped them to evaluate what they should really treasure. They recognized that as they received their neighbor’s compassion and care during this time of need, they are also called to be that kind of compassion in the future.
A sudden misfortune in our lives reminds us of the words of scripture, “Everything is vanity of vanities (Eccl 1:2).” Everything passes--health, beauty, possessions, even people. God alone remains. Misfortunes in our lives can make the time for us to choose God anew as the one and all of our life, and thus live the way he commands: to love. This is the wisdom that St. Paul spoke of in our Second Reading: “Brothers and sisters: We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden…” (1 Cor 2:6-10) The reading from Sirach today reveals succinctly this hidden wisdom of God, “If you trust in God, you too shall live.” (Sirach 15:15) God knows the road we should take at every point of our lives. Do we? Do we love and trust our God enough for Him to to manage our life and guide it?
(Photo: Courtesy of The Advocate)