13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13 (2a)
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
June 27, 2021
Why are we here today?
Taking the question literally, we are here to celebrate Mass. Going a little deeper, what is the point of celebrating Mass?
The first and primary point of celebrating Mass is not for own benefit. It is to praise God. We praise God for rescuing us from the evil one and the netherworld. We praise God for not acting in anger when we have sinned. We praise God for rescuing us from our sins through Jesus’ Crucifixion. We praise God for changing our “mourning into dancing,” giving us hope in the Resurrection.
We praise God for his help in the past and, with an “attitude of gratitude,” we trust God to help us in the future.
We praise God for bringing meaning to our lives. “God did not make death…he fashioned all things that they may have being.”
God created us to be “imperishable” in his own image. Death came, not through God, but through “the envy of the devil.” The death that God speaks of is the death of sin.
To live is to live in God. The death of sin separates us from God. Separation from God is a terrible thing. The woman in today’s gospel had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. She would have been seen as “unclean”, meaning she could not go to the Temple or have relations with her husband. She would have been separated from it all.
No doctor could help her. Hearing of Jesus, she goes to him with faith that He can heal her. She is indeed healed. Jesus tells her “your faith has saved you.” Healed, she would no longer be considered unclean. She was restored to her proper place.
We also see a great faith in Jesus from Jairus, a synagogue office. His daughter is dying. Jairus goes to Jesus for help. As he is talking with Jesus, Jairus hears that his daughter has died. What does Jesus do? He restores her life.
When we commit mortal sin Jesus can save us. Jesus was rich in divinity in Heaven but He became poor to be human like us so that through him we can be saved.
Jesus embraced “poverty” in emptying himself of his divinity so that we might become rich as He gives his life for us. This is Jesus’ gracious act for us.
Paul writes to the Corinthians inviting them to share in a “gracious act.” The act of which he speaks is a collection for the church in Jerusalem. He is calling them to offer their help to others.
We are called to help one another in our needs. Paul refers to Exodus 16:18 when he writes, “As it is written: Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.”
Some may hear this and think it is calling for socialism. It is not. The Church does not call us to be socialism. You can read in the Catechism that the Church does not condemn the ownership of private property. In fact, it can a good motivator for us.
It is fine to own private property but not to the exclusion of others who do not have enough. When we have more than our basic needs, in loving our neighbor, we are called to do Corporal Works of Mercy to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and visit the sick (Matthew 25:31-46).
Are you the person in need or are you the person with surplus that God is calling to help others?
Sometimes we are in need. Sometimes we are the ones with means to help others.
Some people think happiness comes in having much material wealth to the point of hoarding all they can. We are created for love. We can find great joy when we are blessed with a surplus and use that surplus to help others. In doing so, we experience the love that we are created for.
This is my last weekend at St. Luke’s. While I have only been here for two years (and a lot has changed in two years, starting with COVID), I hope I have helped you come closer to God. That is all I want.
Now, as I leave, I pray for you to know what God’s plan is for you. I know (see Jeremiah 29:11) that God has a plan for each of you just as He has a plan for me. God has a plan for St. Luke’s.
May we have the grace we need to trust and follow God’s plan.