Homily For Youth: All For The Glory of God!

By Fr Antony Christy, SDB –

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lev 13: 1-2, 44-46; 1 Cor 10:31-11:1; Mk 1: 40-45

Look at the world today – people suffering, people struggling, people frenetically searching to make their life more livable, in opposition to those hoarding wealth, securing power, attaining their wicked ends, manipulating people, twisting rules and oppressing humanity! In this when you come across a news, or a report, or witness a case of a suffering human person what would be your immediate response: to watch out or to reach out?
At times when sad and cruel things happen to some individuals – the society makes use of this an an opportunity to tell others, WATCH OUT. The others become a case study, a warning, an example to learn from, an object to be analysed and passed judgement upon. How many times we have seen people in real trouble suffering, but have passed on, have been inactive either thanking our stars or judging the person to deserve it all. Is that a Christian attitude? I am reminded of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s powerful words:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

When we come across an injustice done to a helpless person or a just cause, we move on today with a protest on the facebook and twitter… because we are all busy. And we teach ourselves to watch out that we may not get into the same problem…to be more careful and precautious.

Jesus breaks all these precautions – when he saw the person with leprosy, he had compassion, did not stop with telling others how sad it is. He wished that this person be cured, he did not stop with a wishful thinking alone! He made it a point to REACH OUT… he spoke to him, stretched out his hand and touched him! He reached out! That is the challenge proposed to us: to wish well for the suffering, to stretch our hands (not merely thoughts) and to touch them, by our closeness, action and solidarity.

Today there are people who seem to reach out, or atleast claim to reach out…but the intentions: for their own popularity, gain, hidden agenda, making use of the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed as stepping stones to their fame, making them doubly oppressed – oppressed by the society at large and the oppressed by those who claim to be their saviour!

An experience from the life of Mother Teresa can never be forgotten in this context – when a reporter commented to Mother, looking at the dirtiest tasks that she was involved in, like washing the wounds and wiping the puss: ‘Mother, even if they gave me a million dollars I would not be able to do this!’, the Saint of Kolkata seemed to have said: ‘Even for a couple of those million dollars, I would not do this. I do this for the Christ whom I see in these faces’. Not for me, not for what I gain, but for Christ whom I want to serve…what a life she lived.

Jesus teaches us the same: the purpose of reaching out is ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. He strictly ordered him not to speak about what Jesus did, because what should be spoken of is the glory of God revealed in the healed person! St. Paul puts it so plainly: whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Let us reach out to the suffering brothers and sisters, those who feel lost in their lives, those who are groping for meaning in a dark corner of this society, those who are gasping for fresh air in their personal lives and families…but reach out to them in silence, a loving silence, a divine silence, an active silence, the silence that makes the presence of God felt… Let us Reach out, for the Glory of God!

Fr Antony Christy  is a Salesian Priest from 2005, who has a Masters in Philosophy (specialisation in Religion) and a Masters in Theology (Specialisation in Catechetics). He is currently pursuing his doctoral research in Theology at Salesian Pontifical University, Rome. Walking with the Young towards a World of Peace and Dialogue is the passion that fires him on.

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