YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 8TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: FOCUS ON YOURSELF
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 6:39-42) Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus gave teachings that remind us to look at ourselves more than others. Once we do that and achieve good changes and free ourselves of evil ways, we will bear much fruit.
Thus, bearing good fruit begins with making ourselves good. This requires much self- reflection, self-examination, and a ton of humility. And that is always the hardest part. We all have tendencies to look at everyone before we look at ourselves. It is the other who must be wrong or wanting. We have eagle eyes for the mistakes of others while being blind and neglectful of ourselves. We give ourselves all the benefits of the doubt. Understanding, patience, and mercy are always available to self.
For Jesus, the above attitude is not productive. Change, if needed will not happen. Why? Because the other who is the object of criticism is also looking at us and is doing the same. In other words, we see each others defects, but we do not see our own. And when we do not see our own defects, change will not happen. Change begins with self. Rarely does one change because of the other. In most cases, we are offended. If and when we admit our defects, change comes very gradually or minimally.
But if we heed Jesus’ call to focus more on ourselves, change will be immediate and widespread. If I look at myself, see my defects, admit their presence in me, understand the need to change them, and finally decide to address them, change will happen. If everyone is doing the same approach, change happen to everyone quickly.
Jesus did not mean that we cannot criticize each other. No one sees everything. We all have our blind side. Jesus was stressing the fact that humility is basic. Learning to humble ourselves opens ourselves to the concern of others. The combination of self-criticism and fraternal correction is a perfect recipe for becoming a good person. And, as the Gospel says, “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good…”
Finally, the second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, reminds us why goodness should be maintained. The sting of death is sin. Goodness and holiness defang death. Not that we will not die physically but life eternal is the fruit awaiting.