Homily for March 15, 2016. Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent
Every sin is an act of rebellion and rebellion begins with dissatisfaction. To rebel is to challenge authority and demand for certain privileges or benefits which one feels deprived of. When we begin to question whether or not God is being fair to us or allowing us enjoy as much as it is possible for us to enjoy, then we are seriously rebellious and this is the heart of every single sin we commit.
When Adam and Eve were tempted, Satan said certain things to them that made them unsatisfied with God such that they started feeling God was keeping certain privileges away from them and that God was not allowing them enjoy their full potentials. Look at the words of the serpent: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And in the next verse we read: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.” Genesis 3, 5 to 6.
The dissatisfaction of Adam and Eve is the same dissatisfaction we often feel that leads us to rebel against God. We want more! We want more! We want more! This is the same dissatisfaction the people of Israel felt during their journey in the desert as captured by our first reading this morning: “And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Numbers 21, 5. Imagine calling the manna God fed them with a worthless food?
Check out any country where you hear of rebels fighting the authority. Why are they fighting? They want more! They feel something precious is kept from them and they want to demand for it by all means. For instance, when God says: “thou shall not commit adultery”, a commandment that demands chastity, we get to a certain age and we begin to regard purity as “worthless food,” we become dissatisfied, we look at people around us living like animals and we feel cheated, we feel God must be so unfair in restricting us and keeping away “pleasures of life” from us. We want more! This is why we rebel against God and indulge ourselves in unchaste acts.
Think about it, every sin is a result of our inner dissatisfaction. We steal because we want more, we covert, we tell lies and so on just because we are not never satisfied. Just as rebellion leads to the shedding of blood, sin destroys us. The fiery serpents God sent on the people represents what we incur on ourselves by seeking for more! By accusing God of depriving us of certain things we think we should have, we question his love, we question his wisdom and even his ability to give us the best. And our insatiability brings sorrow.
But then, that is not the end of the story. There is Good news. The people came to their senses and repented. They said to Moses: “We have sinned…!” And God told Moses to make a bronze serpent, an image of what was to come. Just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent, Jesus Christ in our Gospel passage remarks: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he.” John 8, 28. This is why we have crucifixes in our places of worship, in our cars, on our desks, on our walls at home, even on our necks. We put the cross everywhere to remind ourselves, to lift up Jesus and constantly look upon him throughout the day.
Each time you look at the cross of Jesus, don’t just stare. Look with faith, look up and receive healing. We have so many fiery serpents biting us on every side, serpents we have brought on ourselves because of our sinfulness. We must look at the cross for healing, we must keep looking for direction, for wisdom and for freedom from the spirit of dissatisfaction.
Let us Pray:
Lord Jesus, grant me contentment within the frame of keeping your commandments. Grant me wisdom to realize that you can never cheat me because your love for me is genuine. Amen.
God bless you. Good morning. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you.