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Red Homilies

Romans 4:20-15; Luke 12:13-21
(Fr Aelred Nilo, OSB)

 

LIFE SEEMS TO BE UNFAIR. There are times in our lives when we feel that life is unfair and unjust to us. Sometimes, we cannot but resent God for treating us so unfairly. If we are feeling this way, then our readings today are addressed to us.When the man in the crowd asked Jesus to help him get a share of his inheritance back from his brother, it was a concrete example of someone seeking justice. The man requested Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”

Jesus knew that the real problem is not so much a question of getting our fair share in life. But THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM is simply GREED. Thus, Jesus warned the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Brothers and sisters, THERE NO SUCH A THING AS A FAIR SHARE OF LIFE. In this world (or in life) we are not equal in wealth, power, status and influence. We are also NOT equal in health, talents, and opportunities. Less still are we equal in love, peace, joy and happiness. Kaya nga uso o trending ngayon ang “Walang forever”.

So to speak about EQUALITY in every way IS AN ILLUSION. Just look at each one of us – we are all different in height, features, etc. So how can we be equal? Justice, therefore, cannot be sought on the human level because no matter how much we get, we will still feel that we are shortchanged.

Yes, no matter how much we have in life, we can never be satisfied. Our want is bottomless; there is no end to what we desire. PEOPLE TURNS GREEDY BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LIVE IN FEAR OF THE FUTURE. Man is afraid to die and to suffer. He accumulates to protect himself from the unforeseen future.

This was the case of the rich man in today’s parable. He had a good harvest from his land and he built bigger barns to store his crops. And he said to himself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ This only prove that man wants to have more simply because he wants to insure himself from all contingency that can threaten his life, his survival and his happiness.

Unfortunately, more often than not, THE FIGHT FOR SELF-SURVIVAL MAKES US SELFISH AND QUITE OFTEN AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR FELLOWMEN. Most people and indeed all nations are fighting for their own interests. It would be naïve to think that there is such a thing as pure generosity. We help those who can be of help to us now or in the future. Hence, we can conclude that injustice is the result of fear, which breeds greed.

Since justice cannot be sought on the human level what then is the solution to injustice? THE ANSWER LIES IN FAITH. This is the ultimate solution to the feeling of injustice in our life. St Paul in our first reading gives us the answer to the question of justice. He cited the faith of Abraham when he trusted in God totally as the faith that was “considered as justifying him”.

FAITH IS TRUST IN GOD’S WORD. Abraham trusted in God and as St Paul said, “drew strength from faith and gave glory to God, convinced that God had power to do what he had promised”. Such a FAITH ELIMINATES FEAR. TRUST IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE, THUS, IS THE ANTIDOTE TO FEAR. Without fear there is no greed, and we would not be unjust to our fellowmen by grabbing more than we need.

But faith is not simply to trust in God’s word, his providence and his power to bring about what He promised. True faith in St Paul’s understanding is obedience. Concretely, a person of faith is one who not only trusts in his word, but also lives by His word. This means that as Christians, the obedience of faith requires us to live the life of the gospel, which is A LIFE OF DEATH TO SELF.

Brothers and sisters, WE ARE CALLED TO USE WHATEVER WE HAVE, BE IT TIME, TALENTS, RESOURCES, WEALTH, ETC. NOT FOR OUR SELFISH INTERESTS OR PLEASURES like the rich and foolish farmer, but to use them for the good of all. In the words of Jesus, it is to store up treasure for ourselves by making ourselves “rich in the sight of God”.

May nagpost sa Facebook ng ganito, “ANG BARYA, MAINGAY, MATUNOG. PERO ANG PERANG PAPEL TAHIMIK, WALANG TUNOG KAHIT MAHULOG. ANG TAO YONG IBA, KAPAG UMANGAT NA NAG-IIBA NA. DAPAT PARANG PERA … KAPAG TUMAAS ANG HALAGA, TAHIMIK LANG AT MAPAGKUMBABA.”

Real security and a happy life do not depend on how much we own; less still on how long we live in this life. TRUE SECURITY AND JOY IS A LIFE LIVED IN GOD AND FOR GOD. When we are rich in love, compassion and charity, then, as St Paul assures us, we too are will be considered “justified” before God and man.

Sabi nga nila, “LIFE IS UNFAIR, PERO KAHIT GANON MARAMI KA PA RIN DAPAT IPAGPASALAMAT.”

 

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