Homily by Fr. Paul Plante
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 18, 2009
Scriptural Reference: Isaiah 53:10-11
It seems to me that if someone were to have doubts about the Old Testament pointing towards the future and preparing for the redemption that would be ours through Jesus Christ – today’s reading from Isaiah could certainly assure us that God was indeed preparing humanity for the arrival of his Son.
“If he gives his life as an offering for sin” – indeed what Jesus did when he died on the cross – “he shall see his descendants in a long life” – generation upon generation of disciples of Jesus – all the way to us – 2000 years later – but long life could also mean the eternal life that salvation offers us – “and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him”. Jesus’ own words in the Gospels make it clear that he came into this world not to do his own will but the will of his Father and the will of the Father is that all might be saved. So certainly when Isaiah says that the will of the Lord shall be accomplished in him – in Jesus, that’s exactly what happened.
As disciples of Jesus there has to be a similarity to Jesus in our lives – and so, what if I were to change just one word in the verse I just quoted from Isaiah and put the spotlight on us as followers of Jesus - “and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through you”.
If Jesus accomplished God’s will – we as his disciples, have to accomplish God’s will.
Are you able to believe that the will of the Lord will be accomplished through you?
I think we all know that if we come to believe that we are on this earth to accomplish God’s will, not our own – there will be serious implications as to how we live our lives – it will affect everything we think say and do – it will mean a different attitude as to how we spend our time – develop our talent and use our resources. We sometimes want to separate religion from the things of the world – business transactions – politics – entertainment – spirits – whatever – but when we reflect on what we are doing – the more separation or distance there is, most likely, the less our lives are Christ-like – the less we are fulfilling God’s will and therefore, the more we are following our own will – our instincts – our desires – our whims and fancies.
I remember somebody saying – if you want to know what kind of follower of Jesus you are, look at the entries in your checkbook. How many are for charity? – for the needs of others? – for the missions? – for the Church? - for a good cause? compared to the entries that are for one’s own wants and pleasures.
Reflect today on how you are eager to fulfill God’s will, not your own – pray to know God’s will - it will become clear to you in stages and as you discover it, pray to be able to change the things in your life that do not match with what God wants of you.
Some things are very demanding in life but when they are what God wants of us – they are very worthwhile.