SEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
Not too long ago I was helping out in a parish on a weekend. A young boy was the server at Mass. When I looked at him, I thought to myself: I have seen that kid somewhere before. I wonder where? Well, all during the Mass I kept turning that over in my mind…you might say I didn’t have my mind on what I was doing. But it bugged me. Where have I see that Kid? Finally, after Mass I asked the boy: ‘Have I met you before? I am sure that I have seen you somewhere.’
The boy was quite shy but he looked up at me and said, no, we had never met. Suddenly, I remembered where I had seen him…he was the spitting image of his father Don – a classmate of mine. He even talked like his dad.
I met his dad later in the week and told him about meeting his son. I told him: He is so much like you, Don. Even before he had told me his name, I knew he was your son. Don smiled, happy and a little proud – I would say.
I think it is the same with God. My friend Don was happy because his son was like him. He was proud that I could recognize him in his face and in his speech also. So the same with God our father. He is happy when He finds his likeness in us. A likeness, not of the body, but of the heart.
You say: “but I thought we were all created in the likeness of God”. So we are. But sad to say, at times, we act in such a way that people find it very difficult to recognize the image of God in us.
What is God like then? The Gospel today tell us what God is like: YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN CAUSES HIS SUN TO RISE ON BAD MEN AS WELL AS GOOD MEN, AND HIS RAIN TO FALL ON HONEST AND DISHONEST MEN ALIKE. In other words, God loves all people. He cares for all of us. His wish is that all of us may be like him. He treats all, the good and the bad, with love. He is ready to forgive all of us.
The Psalm today said that the Lord FORGIVES all and HEALS all; he does not DEAL with us according to our sins, nor repay us for our WRONG-DOING. All of these are what I am called to be.
If you love those who love you…BIG DEAL! Even the Tax collectors do as much. If you greet your brother or sister – BIG DEAL… even the pagans do that. YOU MUST BE PERFECT JUST AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.
Notice that Jesus says: YOU MUST…not you SHOULD, or COULD…or TRY TO BE…but you MUST. ( this reminds me of the instance of one of our priest s and a little boy…..I AM JUST A LITTLE BOY. That is the answer we would like to give to God)
We will never achieve the holiness of God, we all know that. But it is something that must be our goal. Goals are like budgets…you aim as high as you can, but usually never succeed one hundred percent. So it is with perfection. Knowing that I will never reach it all the way we still must head for it…. And with the Grace of God, we will go a lot further than we had ever expected…because of the love of God.
To be practical, look at your own life this morning. Maybe you have been hurt by someone and you have been planning on getting even with them. Is that how Jesus would react? How about forgiving that person and getting on with your life. Or maybe you had a quarrel with a person – and never made up with them. How about calling them with an apology – or writing them a note. How about cleaning off the board today – because that is what your heavenly Father would do.
You see, with the help of your Father in heaven, all things are possible. Set your goals high, and with the help of God, you will even surprise yourself.