Homily: The Journey of Life
By Mons. Peter Jeffrey:
Parents are always encouraging their children to make good choices. At school, our teachers are also helping the children to know the difference between what is good and what is not so good and hopefully to learn how to choose “the good”.
Our lives are composed of many journeys. Mum goes shopping, Dad goes to work, and the children come to school. On holidays, families often go to some favourite place or visit friends or relatives. We do not rush the journey because, as the saying puts it, “we want to smell the roses along the way”.
Sometimes we forget that our whole life on earth is a special journey in this world until we pass through death to eternal life with God and all the saints. We are all on the journey to Heaven.
Some of our young people and their families are at Mass today because they are on a “special journey” to the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. Later in the Mass they will receive their booklet “Steps in Faith” to help them prepare together with their friends and family for the sacrament of Penance.
We want the children, their friends and their parents to be “Companions on the Journey”. We hope the home group meetings will help the children discover a little more deeply the fact that Jesus is their best friend. He shows us how to love His Father and our Father and how to show that love in our friendships with others.
This sacramental journey is about learning to make ‘good choices’. It is also about learning that Jesus has given us a special sign (or sacrament) of his forgiveness when we realise we sometimes make bad choices and need His forgiveness.
At school, children learn many things through stories or parables. So many of Jesus’ stories illustrate how best we can live our lives in the service of others. If children gradually learn this, they will truly be disciples (or followers) of Jesus. He learnt this from Mary and Joseph in their simple home in Nazareth. It is thus for us today – we learn this in our homes and at school.
When He began His Public Ministry, he challenged his followers by speaking directly about those on the margins and those the world most commonly ignores. Thanks to the example and encouragement our children receive at St. Mary’s, I often see children reaching out to others so that nobody may feel left out.
In all of this, I hope we are helping our young Parishioners discover that Jesus is their best friend. I often ponder a prayer that goes like this –
Jesus – my best friend
May you listen to me sharing with you
May you touch my heart with love
May you hold me close to you and guide me
May my life sing your praise!
Our Gospel passage today was the Lucan account of the Beatitudes. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gives the Beatitudes on the Mount of the Beatitudes – in Luke’s Gospel, they are given on the plain.
When he was recently in Sweden, on the Feast of All
Saints, Pope Francis said the “Identity Card” of a saint is in the Beatitudes. He said “new situations require new energy and a new commitment; he then offered a new list of beatitudes for modern Christians. I mention a couple:-
“Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others discover Him
Blesse are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others”
We pray in our Mass today that our sacramental children will reflect something of that in their lives as they grow to adulthood.
*Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time