Homily For 8th Sunday Of Ordinary Time, Year C

Goodness And Beauty From The Heart

Readings: 1st: Sir 27:5-8; Ps: 91; 2nd: 1 Cor 15, 54-58; Gos: Lk 6:39-45

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.   

Today, the eight Sunday of ordinary time, the church continues to remind us of the virtues and qualities that should characterize our lives as Christians.

She reminds us that while physical appearance could be deceptive, what really determines who we are is what comes from within us. This includes, the quality of our words, the wisdom and the goodness that we manifest.

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So, our first reading is a call to be very careful in evaluating people based on their appearances rather than on the wisdom that comes from them. It says: “The test of a man is in his conversation. A man’s word betrays what he feels. Do not praise him before he speaks.”

In spite of this, it suffices to add, that one needs a lot of wisdom to discern the truth in someones word. This is especially, given the fact that many people say beautiful words just to please and deceive others, while their hearts are far away from the truth.

Christ says: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mt 15:8). At times, they also tell us what we want to hear, just to make us happy for a moment and us sad afterwards.

The wisdom, good counsel and, sincerity that comes from the word of a Christian is what sets him apart. It makes him: “A man, in whom there is no guile or deceit” (John 1:47). Not only our words, but our actions as Christian must edify, improve and encourage, others.

So, today we must ask ourselves: Does my words edify or make any positive difference on others? Does it build up, or destroy the community?

In today’s gospel, Jesus also teaches us that the quality of our heart determines the quality of our words and actions. He says: “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

As Christians, if we live according to the good news, definitely, our actions and words would be guided by it. Consequently, it will affect others positively. On the contrary, if we fill our hearts with flirt, also, our actions and words would be filled with nothingness.

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Also, Christ warns us today to be careful in judging others. Rather, we should be humble enough to look inwards before criticizing others. Hence, Paul reminds us: “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1Cor10:12).

In the second reading, Paul reminds us that God has given us victory through Christ. For this reason, we must be of good cheers and never relent in doing good. Christ’s victory must not be in vain. Rather, it must sustain us in good actions as Paul tells us today: “Keep laboring at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord you cannot be laboring in vain. This is a call to perfection in all we say and do.

Finally, today let our hearts are filled with joy for what God has down for us through Christ. Through Him, we are filled with goodness so that we can praise and thank God with a cheerful and sincere heart. Indeed, it is good to give thanks to the Lord for what he has done for us.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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