29th Sunday in Ordinary Time | October 16, 2016
Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
PROTIP: You can take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the first reading.
So I have a confession to make.I have a bit of a “Savior Complex.”
Now, I know that some of you may find this shocking. But, alas, it is true. I have been known from time to time to have the belief that I, and I alone can fix any issue and solve any crisis.
I still remember the first time when I was called out for it.
I was in college and my campus minister had been observing my propensity for ignoring all basic notions of self-care in my quest to end hunger, resolve racial tensions, cure cancer, and help fix every problem my friends may be facing (whether they wanted said assistance or not), all in the course of a semester.
So one afternoon, as I was racing into the student union building to work on logistics for a Special Olympics tournament, he stopped me and called me into his office.
“Brian,” he said. “I am having trouble remembering the words for this hymn we sing at mass. Could you help me out?”
“Sure,” I replied, a little perturbed that he was preventing me from finishing my mile long to do-list.
He then began to hum a familiar refrain many of you will remember . . .
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
I sang it back to him, somewhat baffled that he had forgotten a song we sing every week.
But then he continued. “Are you sure that’s it? Because I could have sworn it went something like this . . . Brian has died, Brian is risen, Brian will come again.”
I was speechless. Quite a feat, let me assure you.
And then he drove the final nail into the coffin. “Brian, the world already has a savior. And you are not it.”
Point taken, Fr. John.
A point that I was reminded of as I listened to the first reading for this weekend.
For if anyone could have justifiably developed a Savior Complex, Moses was it.
For Moses was tasked with some pretty monumental missions over the course of his life.
He was asked to defy Pharoah and liberate his people from oppression in Egypt.
He was asked to lead his people through the desert, imploring God on their behalf.
He was asked to inspire his army in their quest to obtain the Promised Land.
And yet, Moses was frequently reminded that he was not God.
It was not Moses who worked wonders in Egypt.
It was not Moses who sent manna from heaven and water from the rock.
It was not Moses who granted victory to the Israelites.
It was God.
And it was God who ultimately gave Moses the tools and the people he would need to accomplish his mission. From his co-workers Aaron and Miriam, to his faithful captain Joshua, to Hur who simply held up his arm, Moses was never alone in his work.
He did not need to be God in order to accomplish God’s work in the world.
My friends, we too have been tasked with some monumental missions of our own.
We are tasked with getting up before a classroom of students and forming them into women and men of character and genuine learning
We are tasked with standing in an operating room and knowing that we have the capacity to restore this person to health.
We are tasked with raising a child that has been gifted to us into the person that God calls them to be.
We are tasked with using the resources that we have accumulated to better the life of another, whether it is our aging parents or a family suffering from the ravages of war or Hurricane Matthew.
We are tasked with leading our fellow parishioners into a deeper relationship with the Body of Christ through the time that we volunteer to our parish family.
But in these missions, let us heed the lessons of our forefather, Moses.
Let us remember that we are not God.
That we are ultimately not in control.
That are lives will not be measured by the success that we accumulate, but by the faithfulness we have in living our lives in accordance with God’s will.
And in turn, let us remember, that we do not accomplish our mission alone.
Like Moses experienced in his ministry, we too are blessed with a family who is there helping us to live out our call.
A family of believers united by one baptism, nourished at this one table, and sent forth into the world to be the arms that embrace, the shoulders that bear the load, the eyes that see with compassion, the ears that listen to our stories, the feet that walk beside us.
A family that is here until our journey is done and the Lord’s kingdom has come.
May God be Praised