St Paul said in the First Reading In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. As adopted children, God has given us an inheritance and he planned this according to his own will. He guarantees this by marking us with the seal of the Holy Spirit. He was not forced to do this. This plan is fulfilled only when we live for the praise of his glory. Yesterday’s First Reading tells us God has planned this even before the world was created.
Jesus shows us how to achieve this in the Gospel today. He warns his listeners against the yeast of the Pharisees: hypocrisy. The word hypocrite comes from two Greek words that mean under and discern, making a hypocrite as someone who cannot discern. The Pharisees were hypocrites because they could not discern God’s Truth from their own interpretation of it. Because they could not discern God’s Truth, they want to silence Jesus and those who speak the Truth. Which is why Jesus told his disciples not to be afraid of those who plot evil against them. These will be revealed in its time.
The Church today is troubled with many in the hierarchy that refuse to hold to the Truth, preferring to speak their own opinions. These are hypocrites because they cannot discern God’s Truth from their opinions. Several years back, these men were hidden. Now, they are revealed, getting bolder and more careless. And there will come a time when they will face Jesus and be answer for their actions.
Marguerite d’ Youville is the first native-born Canadian to be proclaimed a saint. She did not have a good life. By 30 years old, she experienced the death of her father, of her husband and four of her six children who died in infancy. She later founded a religious association with three other women to provide housing to the poor women of Montreal. Because their ministry was against the social norms of that time, they were ridiculed and called grey women which also means drunken women. When their association became an order, they were granted a charter to operate the General Hospital of Montreal which at that time, was neglected and was financially in trouble. They brought it back to financially stability and when the hospital was destroyed by fire, they rebuilt it. They later became known as the Grey Nuns, taking the name that was used to ridicule them.
Marguerite shows that a difficult life is not a hindrance to a holy life. She knew her purpose in life was to give glory to God in her own way. And despite the ridicule and insults, she persevered, trusting what Jesus said in today’s Gospel Even the hairs of your head are counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. God wants to give us our inheritance. It is up to us to respond to this invitation.
Lord, remind me of your plan for me. Teach me to trust you care for me, that even the hairs on my head are counted. Lead me to that inheritance you have planned for me. St Marguerite, pray for me, that I may persevere in the midst of suffering and hardship.