Ask the Spirit for guidance
Homilythird sunday Ordinary time C
We all are emotional, we have our personal feelings about others, about events that happened, things we experience. Sometimes just a little remark is sufficient for us to be touched deeply.
A word that reminds us of a beloved person that passed away, can touch us deeply, for instance.
Sometimes we have negative feelings about someone we don’t like. Those feelings come spontaneously.
Love each other with the love of Jesus
We know that it is our mission and even our duty to love each person with the love of Christ Jesus who gave His life for us, while we were sinners. Though we did hurt Him so much, He loved us and gave His life, offered His suffering, the bad treatment He underwent, His pains, the insults, His death.
Our unstable feelings and emotions
When we realize how unstable our feelings can be, how wavering our sympathies and antipathies, it becomes clear to us that we have to be very careful in building on them, especially when we feel sad or angry, when we do not feel warmth and love for the person with whom we deal, then we have to be very careful. A hard word said to someone for whom we do not have many feelings of sympathy, is much different from the same word said to somebody we understand and love.
Today we heard two small passages from Saint Luke’s gospel. The first sentences were taken from the very beginning of the gospel. Saint Luke uses there the classical vocabulary of the historians of his era: he assures the reader or the hearer of these words that he is going to give an exact account of what happened, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses. He carefully went over the whole story from the beginning and he is going to give an ordered account. The person to whom Saint Luke writes is called Theophilus, that means: the one who loves God. It might be not the name of a single person, but maybe Saint Luke addresses here all those who love and seek God and are about to read of hear his gospel.
An exact account
So, saint Luke has the intention to give an exact account of what happened, not a personal and emotional one, though of course he is attracted very much to Jesus, he loves and follows Him and he believes that He is the Lord.
In fact this is very good. And we can do the same. Sometimes we hear people giving testimony of their faith, which is very good. But we should not attract people to our emotions but to God. So the words we speak can be simple but they have to be corroborated by our deeds. Our testimony should direct the attention of others to us and to our special experiences, but to Jesus.
The second part of the gospel we have read today, was taken from the fourth Chapter of Saint Luke’s gospel. Jesus returns with the power of the Spirit in Him to Galilee and He is very popular. Huge crowds are following Him and everyone is praising Him. Even in His birthplace everyone is full approval and admiration. Next Sunday we’ll hear how soon this feelings of enthusiasm and sympathy can quickly change into outrageous hate: they’ll almost kill Him. There we see how wavering and changing our emotions and feelings can be. We should not build on them! Like in the case the people of Nazareth our emotions and feeling will be easily attracted by what is nice and appealing to us. Nice and beautiful people get more sympathy.
Guided by the Spirit
But we as Christians are called to follow Jesus. Two times it is said about Him that the Spirit of the Lord was in Him. His decision to go back to Galilee was taken with the Spirit in Him. And where did His attention go under the guidance of the Spirit? We read it clearly in the gospel: To the poor, to the captives, to the blind and the downtrodden. Guided by the Spirit Jesus paid His attention to other thing, to other people than we would do guided by our emotions and feelings.
Some people, some events give us spontaneously positive feelings, we feel attracted; other things, other persons have a different impact ons us: we don’t like them, we don’t feel sympathy. This is very personal. But this wavering feeling is not always a very good guide. Therefore it is very important to implore the holy Spirit, that He may give us insight, that He may help us to love each person with the love of Christ Jesus, that he may help us not to act upon our unstable emotions and feelings but that we may go where the holy Spirit guides us.