We are Priceless, We are Valuable
Homily of Thursday, Feb., 28 2019
Theme: We are Priceless, we are Valuable
In a time like this in the life of the Church, we are facing a lot of issues around scandals especially that of sexual abuse of minors. Just two days ago, Pope Francis finished his meeting with Bishops over this issue coming up with measures for handling of abuse and caring for victims. From our African background, this issue might seem like a western issue, but we know that if our cupboards are opened, more dreadful skeletons could be found.
The readings of today make salient points we must have in mind as we ponder these issues and our own personal lives.
1. You Are Priceless:
Jesus leaves us with no doubt: We are valuable. We all carry within us a God-given dignity. This dignity is identified and enhanced when we bear his name. Every human being has an intrinsic dignity because every human being is created in God’s image. But this image of God is perfectly incarnated in Christ; God made man. So a baptized Christian—a Christ-bearer—carries a more perfect image: Christ, in whom we are made children of God. It is little wonder, then, that Jesus assures a reward to anyone who serves us for his sake!
2. Every Little One Is Priceless:
To carry his image is also a responsibility. We must live up to this dignity and show to others a life worthy of the image we carry within. Others may be “little” due to their age, the newness, and immaturity of their Christian life, or even their vulnerability, weakness and struggle. We put a stumbling block in their way, we scandalize them, when our behavior causes them to doubt or become discouraged about living the ideals of faith. A “millstone” suggests that anything would be better for us than this. How damaging then are my bad examples given to “little ones”! We think they would forget anytime soon?
Ponder this rather:
What can I do to avoid such scandal? On the other hand, what a great reward awaits those who do the contrary, giving these little one’s good example! If I loved “these little ones” just half as much as Jesus does, would it not be much easier to avoid giving a bad example?
3. Better to Lose Anything Else:
In today’s world, the value of something is measured in comparison to other items of the same kind: stocks, food, clothes, even music, and films are judged against each other. Yet, there are some things that have absolute value: the value of a soul. Nothing compares! Jesus paints this total non-comparison in terms of cutting off whatever becomes an obstacle. You are so valuable that you must be ready to deny, subdue, silence and even sacrifice your own body, or any of its members, rather than risk losing your soul. Do I value my immortal soul, my vocation to eternal life? If so, do I show this by the self-denial I exert in controlling what makes me (and eventually others through me) stumble? How often do I prefer my “things” to the loved ones who depend on my example of Christ? How radical is my faith?
It is my prayer that we do not become a stumbling block for anyone. If I have, may my love and efforts of faith be used by you now to restore what was lost.
We have to resolve this day to repair a past act of “scandal” ( in the forms of outburst of anger, foul language, gossip or slander, dishonesty, sexual abuse etc.) with a period of quality time given to the “little ones” to rebuild the trust and Christ-like behavior they expect from me.
Remember that you are priceless, you are Valuable…so is the other person. Treat each other as such.
God bless you