Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A | March 1/2, 2014
This homily was written for a Mother-Daughter Mass held for Ursuline Academy.
PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the first and Gospel readings.
“What do you have to be stressed about? You don’t know what worry is.”
“You all don’t know how easy you have it. Wait until you get into the real world.”
I don’t know if this rings a bell with any of the high school students here this morning, but I used to get this all the time when I was in school.
And frankly I never had a clue what they were talking about.
Because I was constantly stressed . . .
Trying to maintain a 4.0, while taking classes that at times seemed impossible (aka Calculus).
Trying to lead numerous activities that demanded so much time and commitment . . . choir, scouts, drama, service organizations, honor societies. Thank heavens I lacked athletic talents. I can’t imagine how I would have balanced a sport in the mix.
Trying to navigate the drama of high school relationships . . . Hook-ups and break-ups, who was no longer on speaking terms with who, all the while trying to weave between the various cliques that changed daily.
Trying not to disappoint those I loved. My family, my friends. Even though I could never seem to avoid the fights and arguments, no matter how hard I tried.
Trying to figure out who I was supposed to be. Where did I want to go to school? What did I want to do with my life? Who did I want to be? Especially when everyone else seemed to have it figured out.
Frankly, if high school was this hard, the thought of the real world was terrifying.
Well, fear not my friends, for the real world is pretty much high school repeated at a different level.
Ask your moms and they will tell you that we still stress about the same things.
We are still trying to be successful in whatever field we find ourselves, even though we often feel like we don’t have a clue about what we are doing.
We are still trying to balance too much on our plates. Never feeling that we have enough time to do anything well.
We are still trying to figure out how to make relationships work. Trying to fix those relationships that we’ve wounded. Trying to deal with those we can’t stand. Trying to fit in.
We are still trying to be the mother, the son, the friend, the wife, the partner, the daughter that we want to be. Even when we realize that we fall short.
Most of all we are still trying to figure out who we are supposed to be? What is the next step? How do I get there?
And yet, here we all are. Listening to a gospel that tells us not to worry.
Forcing us to grapple with a difficult question.
Do we actually believe in the promises proclaimed in today’s Scriptures?
Do we actually believe that God is with us . . .
In the good moments and the bad
In our moments of clarity and our moments of doubt
In our triumphs and successes, as well as our sorrows and failures
Do we actually believe that God will provide what we need. . .
Do we actually believe that God loves us . . .
All of us . . . the masks that we portray to the world and the insecurities that haunt our sleep.
Our body with all of the features that we love and that we can’t stand
Our past with its achievements and its regrets
Our present with its burdens and its blessings
Our future with its fears and its potential
Do we believe?
My prayer this day and every day is that you will be able to say yes.
That as we gather as family to break bread together, each of us will be able to say our Amen and truly mean the yes we say.
Yes to our God who loves us as his beloved daughter, as his beloved son. Who cherishes us. Who believes in us. Who holds us tight. Just like a mother embracing her newborn child for the very first time.
Yes to a life freed from worry, stress and fear.
It will not happen overnight. Our stress will not magically disappear. Our worries will still rear their ugly head.
But with each yes, we will come one step closer to forever casting off these shackles forged of stress, doubt, fear, and worry. One step closer to running freely with our God, who never leaves our side.
Let us not worry about tomorrow my friends. Let us be at peace today. May God be Praised.
Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net