Here is a variation of the previous homily I gave this Sunday.
While trusting in God is an act of justice toward Him, it is not always easy to do so when we witness so much evil in our world. We lean on our own experience and understanding, and as a result fail to keep in mind that God sees things without the tunnel vision that naturally exists as a finite creature. Can we let go of our own understanding, and trust in God?
Without humility it is impossible to be a grateful person. Rather, we even look to God as if He owes us. To the prideful, God owes us everything good, and therefore we are not grateful but entitled. When we realize that God owes us nothing, yet chooses to give us Heaven anyways, then our heart cheers with gratitude. Naaman is a concrete example of this. He began with pride, but ended His journey in thanksgiving to the One true God.
Zeal is the only way to overcome sloth, and often, sacrificing our own internal comfort-zone is the best way to accomplish this. Ultimately sloth is not a sin of the flesh, it is an oppressive sadness at the Divine Good. That means, God's goodness and will grieves us. This sadness can come about for many reasons, one of which is opting out of our own responsibilities.
Our Gospel has often confused many people including those who have to preach on the subject. In our first reading we hear about the condemnation of Greed. But in the Gospel, the manager who is greedy is commended. How do we make sense of this?
"Grace builds on nature" teaches us that there is often a process involved in the conversion of hearts and minds in achieving the ideals of the Christian life. Sloth can take over when we realize that this process is painful and long, and we'd prefer to reach that ideal like flipping a switch. Rigidity develops as a result of a lack of patience, whereby we become spiritual violent towards ourselves and others, discouraged and negative. Patience and tolerance are needed, but only as servants of the ideal, not enablers of the mediocre life.
All of us are spiritually lost if we find ourselves succumbing to sin. We need to be humble enough to admit that. It is those who think themselves not to be lost that are self-righteous and totally unaware of their own moral and spiritual state. This is a kind of blindness that refuses to allow ourselves to be found by God. Can God grant us the grace to be honest with ourselves?
A special welcome back to school to the students of St. Michael's High School. Our Parish Community extends to the students our prayers and support as they begin this year by celebrating the Eucharist. The greatest gift of God.
Without humility our relationship to truth becomes unhealthy. And without truth, our love becomes disingenuous. Humility is a matter of living in reality - and not exalting our mind, our judgments, our liberty above what has a design, what is ordered, and what ultimately is defined by God.