HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
I Corinthians 1:26-31
THEME; GENUINE HAPPINESS LIES WITH GOD
Beloved in Christ, today is a special Sunday for us in this parish, as it marks the climax of this year’s weeklong celebration of the Catholic Education week. We are indeed glad to have our school children worshipping with us in their school uniforms with their teachers. This celebration enjoins us to be proud of our Catholic heritage and to safeguard it.
My dear friend, everyone wants to be happy. God too wants all human beings to be happy. Therefore, the church invites us to answer this question – how do we achieve happiness? While some people think it can be derived from material possessions, the readings of today tell us that genuine happiness comes from God and that it is an attitude that comes from man’s relationship with God.
Consequently, the word “poor” as used by Matthew in today’s gospel is in reference to :
(a) those lacking in material goods;
(b) those with plenty resources without being attached to them or
(c) those to whom material things mean nothing and that God means everything. They are people that no matter how much material goods they may have, they realise they are relatively powerless without God’s power.
Beloved, it is these people who are “blessed” because they are not attached, that is, they are detached and have a humble attitude – even with great riches. In fact, their riches do not possess them, nor are they boastful and proud about them. They renounce the accumulation of goods, do not use their capabilities and qualities selfishly and they place their possessions at the service of others.
We are therefore charged today not to make material possessions the reason for our happiness by defining who we are in terms of how much we have. For the source of genuine happiness is God and not what we have acquired in life.