Lourdes Fiesta Homily
In our gospel (Mt 8:4-13), Jesus performs a powerful healing. A Roman Centurion requested him to cure his servant. This man has two special qualities. First, he has a deep concern for his slave. In the Roman Empire, slaves did not matter. They are mere human tool. No connection. No feeling whether they are sick or they suffer. Yet this man shows a human heart. Second, he has an extraordinary faith. He tells Jesus: Just say the word. He has faith in Jesus’ virtual power even without physical contact. This is a proof that prayer with great love, selflessness and faith is effective.
As we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Mary can be our effective and powerful intercessor. If this unknown soldier was granted his wish, how much more Jesus’ own mother! Today the greatest thing we can do for our sick brothers and sisters is to reach out to them through our prayers.
Let us pray to our Blessed Mother for 3 things: 3 H
Healing.This is what we need because health is wealth. Health is God’s gift. It’s a blessing. We thank God for it and pray for protection. If we lose it, we ask for healing. Today we suffer so much because of this pandemic. But according to Pope Francis, the greatest disease in the world isn’t medical. Its indifference. It is the feeling of being unwanted, unloved. Through the vaccine, we will soon find cure for covid. But the only cure for indifference that leads to depression is love. Love can heal. Forgiveness heals. Try using words like: I’m sorry. I care for you. I love you. maybe it can start the healing process in the heart.
Holiness.Health like wealth is a secondary good. Holiness is our vocation, the greatest good. We will not always be healthy. It’s a given. We will not always be young, beautiful or powerful. Holiness is friendship with Jesus. It’s a personal relationship with God. In following Jesus, we don’t say: Lord, I follow you when I feel good; I’m blest or successful. Following Jesus doesn’t depend on our feelings, our moods, condition or circumstances. Holiness is a commitment to love God with all our heart in joys and in pain; laughter and sorrow; in sickness or in health; in richer or poorer. Holiness is your self-offering to God without conditions.
Happiness.Not the short-term happiness but everlasting. Fullness of life. Joy only God can give. Peace. This happiness is possible in the midst of pain, sickness, ill-health, anxiety or fear. Mary told Bernadette: I promise you happiness but not in this world, but in the next. This is the happiness we should all strive and desire.
Today, we recall the 163rd anniversary of the first apparition in Lourdes, France; and the 64th Fiesta of our Parish in Punta Princesa. Let us turn to our Blessed Mother, our Model and our intercessor. Let us pray for 3 H’s. Health. Holiness and Happiness.
Prayer:Lord, I pray for healing, for myself and for those who are seek. Let me fulfill my calling to be holy and look beyond the happiness you promise. Amen.
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