Theme: Radical Christianity
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Friday August 9 2019
(Mt. 16:24-28) Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time.
In today’s Gospel Jesus commands His apostles to radically deny oneself. The world is to be owned and not vice versa. It also means that Christians must carry their crosses and follow Jesus. These words were the reason why some became Christians. The same teaching made others turn away from the faith and left Jesus Christ. We are always confronted with this choice. We cannot have both.
We wonder why Jesus would make such difficult commands. We wonder why He commanded us things which were popular and prevalent. It is because those commands will make us the best person we could be. Best not in the sense of being materially rich, very famous, or super powerful. Best in the eyes of God. The fullness of life is not to conquer the world, or own much of the world. Life, as destined by God, is not about obtaining riches, achieving successes, or gathering so much power. It is really an unpopular path and difficult life. Yet, it is the best we can be and the most we could have.
Saints had lived these commands and had chosen the way of Jesus. They were regarded as fools. St. Paul admitted he was a fool for Christ. So what? It is Jesus who we must follow and heed. Even if we are seen as fools for the Lord, we are the best before the Lords’ eyes. It is the best anyone can have. We remember the rich young man who wanted to add eternal life to himself. Jesus told him how. Yet he chose to hold on to the things he has. He missed the one thing, eternal life, which would make him possess everything. Thus, he might have retained everything materially but lost everything spiritual. The material things will soon come to pass. The one thing which lasts, he gave away. Let us learn our lesson. Embrace those which lasts and make use of those which fade away.