Fr. Ruben’s Homily for Sunday, February 17, 2019

February 17th, 2019

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 78

Reading 1: Jer. 17:5-8

Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

Reading 2: 1 Cor. 15:12, 16-20

Alleluia: Lk. 6:23ab

Gospel: Lk. 6:17, 20-26

Happiness is a reality that every human being looks for. But what is the source of your personal happiness?

In the todays Gospel we hear about the Beatitudes that Jesus proclaimed not only to those present at the time but for all times. Beatitude can also be translated to happiness. The happiness that Jesus offers us is not only for this life but it transcends the material reality of our existence far beyond into eternal life.

Human beings are called to happiness. Every person, even those who depart from the path of truth, grace, goodness, faith, or love are trying to find happiness in their own way. But unhappiness comes with those options. People who suffer the most are those who pursuit happiness on the wrong paths, with erroneous methods and with very specific resolutions to sin. Those who think that sex, power, money and many other things bring happiness, soon discover that these plans of human life are just that, actions that do not respond to the full integrity of the human live.

 

Jesus proposes to his disciples and to all of us an option that is not divided into apparent acts of false happiness. Jesus tells us that we can never find meaning and purpose of life just in money, power or sex, nor with anything that is material. The Master teaches us the way of happiness from what really fills the heart of people.

There are people who fill their lives with worldly things but their hearts are very, very empty. An empty heart produces terrible echoes in the lives of people: echoes of fear, of foolishness, loneliness, despair, and insecurity. The echoes have the shape of nightmares, anxieties, pain for the past.

Then how is the path to happiness that Jesus offers us?

The first condition that we all need to master to achieve happiness is to have ears for God. To listen from the heart what God asks and wants for us and from us. Our creator does not want us to live in constant sadness, pessimism or bitterness; that is way Jesus offers concrete ways to reach full happiness. People who suffer the most are the ones who try to find happiness in pleasure or sinful actions. But what Jesus offers us is something different.

The Beatitudes helps us to see two conditions, two worlds, and two ways of living. Depending on the choice we make, the promises of Jesus will come true.

 

  1. Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours!!

It does not mean that you have to give up everything you have and have work so hard to acquire. Jesus does not suggest to the sociological poor, rather those who have their trust placed only in the Lord. Everything we need to be happy is within our absolute trust in God. Those who are able to leave space for God and that there is no material obstacles in their interior, will receive the kingdom of God. Jesus knows well that things and people can steal our hearts.

  1. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied!!!

Food is one of the first needs of the human life. Before talking about happiness we have to obtain food, not only the material but also the one that sustains us internally. It is no coincidence that Jesus stayed among us as food to give us spiritual strength. What feeds your life to keep you going?

  1. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh!!!

The cries of now as a result of incomprehension, of so many personal obstacles we face in our lives and make us suffer, are only a preparation for future joys. It is as if all the cries and sadness were definitely left here, in this “valley of tears” every time we pray the Hail Holy Queen “To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.” is the reality we acknowledge in this present life hopping and trusting to reach eternal joy in the presence of God.

  1. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man!

The path of the Lord comes with obstacles. That is why many people abandon the Master’s way of life. They have not understood that we have to live surround by these circumstances so that the strength of God may really overcome our human realities. It is good when we suffer for God, for the truth, for good morals and values, even if others do not understand it or value it. It is the same thing that happened to Jesus.

To the beatitudes follow so many woes or curses against the sinners who prosper:

  • Woe to us rich people! Because we will realize that the things we have are not the source of happiness.
  • Woe to us who are now satisfied! That means when we are full of ourselves, but without Christ, without hope and without God.
  • Woe to us who laugh now! Those who are always willing to mock what is just, pious, truth, and divine.
  • Woe to us when everyone praises us! Those who believe not to follow Christ but have chosen to please the ear of men, rather than announce the kingdom of God.

In short, the teaching of today’s Gospel is of those who, apparently without having anything, own everything and those who, believing they have everything, have nothing.

Few questions to help us reflect in the source of our beatitude or happiness:

  1. What is happiness for you?
  2. What is the relationship between the word “salvation” and “happiness”?
  3. What are the real securities of your life?
  4. What do we have to do to make God more present in our daily life and in our inner life?
  5. How can we fill our heart with God? What do we have to do?