Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land on more than one occasion. And one of the many things that I learned during these trips was the significance of the symbol of an ostrich egg that I saw hanging in many of the Christian churches visited.
I learned that when a mother ostrich lays an egg, she buries it in the sand and very carefully covers the spot, disguising it so that predators cannot find and destroy the egg. The egg is so well hidden, however, that if the mother takes her eyes off that spot where the egg is buried, she could possibly lose it. And because of this, she stands staring at the spot with undivided attention, gazing at the exact spot that she buried the egg. The life of that baby ostrich depends on the vigilance of its mother. So, there is nothing that can force her to look away until her baby emerges from the egg. Interesting.
But you’re wondering, why am I telling you this? Well, the symbol of the ostrich egg is meant to remind worshipers that they have come to church to look upon God with absolute, undivided, undistracted attention. And so, the Beatitudes that Jesus speaks of in the Gospel today is meant to do the same for us, helping the believer – whether times are joyful or challenging or filled with sorrow – helping the believer to have faith and to always keep undivided attention and the mystery of the Creator and sustainer of our lives. And so, the Beatitudes reminds us all no matter what’s happening or going on in our lives, there is one priority. And that is to look at God, to seek God’s will and discover what God wants us to do with the life that God has given us.
Now we all know how conflicting desires can pull us in different directions, and we can lose that single mindedness and become, if you will, double minded. I’ll leave you with this story. There was a journalist who once told a story on how many people sometimes act like donkeys. Standing midway between two stacks of hay and the donkey couldn’t decide which one to start eating first. And so, the animal starved to death because it spent its time just standing there, unable to decide.
Friends, Jesus suggests to us that only with single mindedness and devotion to God’s will in our lives can we achieve wholeness and peace in the life that God has blessed us with. And so today I’d ask you to consider what is it that we might need to let go of in order to stay focused and to be filled with God’s peace, no matter what’s happening in or around us? “Seek first the kingdom of God’s love,” Jesus tells us. It’s our choice.
Zep 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Cor 1:26-31
Mt 5:1-12a (70)
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