Be Fully Alive

October 19, 2014 | HNMWebmaster | Father Salvador, Forgiveness, Homilies, Hope, Joy, Love, Ordinary Time, Prayer, Self-Reflection, St. Matthew

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 19, 2014 – Year A

Readings: Isaiah 45:1,4-6; Psalm 96; 1 Thes 1:1-5b; Mt 22:15-21
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Saint Iranaeus once said that the glory of God is a human being fully alive. We are fully alive because we are all here worshiping God together as members of God’s family. We are fully alive because we believe we are temples of the Holy spirit. We are fully alive because we responded to God’s call this morning, to listen to his holy words, and in a few minutes, to receive his body, blood, soul and divinity in the holy Eucharist.

In today’s gospel, our Lord responds to those who are trying to entrap him with a question that has no right answer. But he told them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” And we all belong to God. Our life and everything we see in the world around us – they are all God’s gift to us.

Next Sunday, the Gospel will tell us: This is what you owe God. Love God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is what belongs to God. If we know how to love – if we try to love – then we will be fully alive.

Anybody who tells you that he or she loves somebody would not say it with a long face. Anybody who is in love always exudes joy. We all know that God’s commandment is to love, not “to like.” We just can’t like everybody. That is humanly impossible. But not only can we love those who don’t like us, or those whom we don’t like, our Lord told us, “Love your enemies.” Pray for those who persecute you. This is who we are. We are God’s children.

To be alive is to be in constant communion with the source of life himself. But human as we are, we get tired. We are weak. We get sick. And every once in a while, we have a misunderstanding with the people we love. That’s why every Sunday is always a reality check. Where are we now as far as our relationship with God is concerned? Where are we now as far as loving God and loving our neighbor is concerned? Sunday is always a day to rest with the Lord. Yesterday, Allen Biggio, when he was giving the words of remembrance for his dad, Gary, said, “My dad is the best. But even the best needs to rest.”

We need to be in constant communion with God because he is the source of life. The only thing that can hinder that life is sin, because sin and God can’t go together.

We remember the story of the Prodigal Son. The younger son wanted to be alive. He wanted to be happy, based on the standard of this world. But the world’s manner of attaining joy and happiness was by being away from his father, and that led to destruction and sadness. Fortunately, he came to his senses, and came back and asked forgiveness. He knew he could only experience real joy by being with his dad – in his company, enjoying his comfort and protection.

If we are with our heavenly Father, we can rest assured that everything will fall into its proper place. And we are all here, gathered together, worshiping our heavenly Father, asking for his help. We ask him to give us strength when we are weak, to give hope when we can no longer see the light at the end of this earth’s tunnel, and to give enlightenment when we are confused. This is how we give glory to God.

Today when we go out after Mass, we will be praising God and we will be singing, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” – not only with our words, but with our very lives.