Sunday, February 10, 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal Weekend

Under the leadership of the Bishop of Cleveland and inspired by the Gospel, Catholic Charities continues the mission of Jesus by responding to those in need through an integrated system of quality services designed to respect the dignity of every person and build a just and compassionate society.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, envisions a world touched by God’s love: where we alleviate poverty and need, and all people share justly in the blessings of creation.

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Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, February 3, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time-C

 

Jeremiah 1: 4-5, 17-19

1 Corinthians 12: 31-13: 13

Luke 4: 21-30

 

If you could ask God one question right now, what would it be? A survey asked that, and one-third of the people who responded said that they would ask God: “What is the purpose of my life?”

I suspect that we are all familiar with that question. So the first reading today, from the prophet Jeremiah, is very timely. God says to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

Those words are also addressed to us. God has known us before He formed us in our mothers’ wombs. Before we were born, we were dedicated by God to a purpose in life. And God will see that purpose through.

         We can wonder about that, can’t we? Some people seem to know very clearly what their purpose in life is. Other people, especially our young, are searching for an answer to that question, “Lord, what do you want me to do with my life?” Every single one of us was created by God in love and has been given a purpose for our living.

         A little boy came home from school and his mother asked him, “What did you learn in school today?” He answered, “Well, in religion class, we learned this really dumb song!” She asked, “What was the song?” He said, “It was all about how we are supposed to be the sunbeams of Jesus in the world.” She said, “What’s so dumb about that?” He said, “I don’t want to be a sunbeam. I want to be a fireman!”

         We all are to be sunbeams, carrying Christ’s light into the world, no matter what our individual calling may be!

         We all have a purpose in life, and we all matter to God. But we question that because we hear those faulty put-down messages from other people, and we think that God is just like them: putting us down.

Sometimes people do not seem to like us. And so we try to adjust our lives to their expectations. We put on masks. We pretend that we are someone that we are not, because we want the approval of other people. And we can wear those masks so long that they become a part of us.

A haunting question for many people is: “If you really knew me, would you still like me? If you really knew me, would you still love me?” And so, out of fear of rejection, they pretend to be someone that they are not.

But God’s answer to that question is: “Yes, I know everything about you. I know how you have messed up. I even know how you will mess up in the future. And I do love you right now, warts and all!”

         We have a purpose in life, we matter to God, and God is with us all the time.

Jeremiah had some difficulty because God had appointed him to be a prophet. Jeremiah was thinking that this meant he had to do it all by himself.

But God said, “No, Jeremiah, you’ve got it wrong. I have appointed you as prophet to the nations and I am with you to deliver you.” And God is with us, helping us to carry out what God has appointed us to do. We matter to God. And God is with us.

There is a verse that I like – it’s not terribly profound, but so often in life it is the things that are simple that really get to our hearts. Here is the verse:

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If God had a wallet, your photo would be inside it.

God sends you flowers every single spring,

And God sends you a sunrise every single morning.

Whenever you want to talk, God will listen.

God can live anywhere in the world, anywhere in the universe,

         and God has chosen to live in your heart.

What about the Christmas gift that He sent you in Bethlehem?

Not to mention that Friday on Mount Calvary.

Face it, friend: God is crazy about you!

 

Do you believe that – that God is crazy about you? Please, try to believe that, because it will color the way that you live the life that God has given you. Know that you have a purpose in life from God, that you matter to God and that God is with you.

So allow God to love you. Why? Because God is crazy about you!