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2018-07-08 Homily. Fr. François Beyrouti. "Do you have time or are you B.U.S.Y.?"

July 8, 2018
"Do you have time or are you B.U.S.Y.?" Homily. Fr. François Beyrouti.
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 15:1-7
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. [5] Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. [6] For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. [7] Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Matthew 9:27-35
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." [28] When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." [29] Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." [30] And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it." [31] But they went away and spread his fame through all that district. [32] As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. [33] And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, "Never was anything like this seen in Israel." [34] But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons." [35] And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.

“Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity” (Mt. 9:35).

In today’s Gospel and in many other parts of the gospels we often hear of Jesus healing people. Throughout His life, Jesus healed the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the crippled. But more importantly He came to heal people’s spiritual sicknesses. In Jesus’ mind, feeding or healing people was only a very small part of His ministry. His ultimate purpose was to show us the will of the Father and how we can achieve live our Divine calling.

Without exception, every single person that Jesus healed eventually died, and every single person that He fed with either fish or bread, got hungry again within a few hours. If Jesus had come only to heal or to feed, His ministry would have been interesting, but not very long lasting or significant. Jesus healed the sicknesses of the body, but gave more attention to healing the soul.

In a variety of ways, some sort of spiritual sickness inflicts all of us. If Jesus were to walk around today, from what spiritual sickness would He want to heal us? There may be many, but one in particular that seems to be common is the spiritual sickness of busyness. Many people seem to be on a constant go, go, go. Definitely the demands of life require hard work. We certainly have responsibilities and should avoid laziness, but there is always more work to do, more games to play, more TV to watch, and more money to make. At times we set unrealistic goals, then kill ourselves and ruin family life trying to achieve these goals.

There is a story about a meeting Satan had with his friends. He said to them, “We won’t be able to make Christianity illegal in America, but we can do even better. Let them enjoy their life, but keep them busy so that they will not have any time to think about God or their families. Keep them busy with the non-essentials of life and invent as many schemes as possible to occupy their minds. Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and then to borrow, borrow, borrow.

“Keep them in this cycle as long as possible by convincing them that they need more to impress everyone around them. Convince them that without all their glamor no one will like them. Persuade them to work long hours on 6-7 days a week. This way they will not be able to spend time with their family and soon they will not be interested in each other. If you see them with a free evening and a few extra dollars in their pockets, convince them that the best place to be is at a restaurant or even better the Casino.

“Keep them busy with music, TV, computers, newspapers, magazines, sports, entertainment events, and long hours playing with their phone. Remember, the more they think of themselves, the less they will think of God and the needs of others. In short: keep them at all times BUSY. B.U.S.Y. B – Burdened/ U – Under/ S - Satan's/ Y – Yoke.”

The question now is: has the devil been successful in keeping us B.U.S.Y.?

Perhaps at times, yes. However, Jesus came to heal us from this constant busyness by reminding us of the essentials of life. Church and family are more important than work, entertainment, and money; even if the latter may bring us more excitement and satisfaction.

How many people find they have too much to do to go to Church? No matter where you live and no matter what you do, there is always something else that you can be doing on Sunday morning?

In terms of family, it is not sufficient to justify why we can’t spend more time together. Rather families must think of creative ways to see each other, eat with each other, and spend time together. Spending time together does not mean watching TV together or sitting next to each other playing on your phones. There needs to be personal interaction between family members. Robots can sit next to each other, but only humans can talk, listen, and respond to each other’s needs and interests.

This is what Jesus does in today’s Gospel and throughout His life. Jesus stops to see and talk to people. It was only when He stopped did He see their needs.

Children can only be raised once. No amount of money can replace the lost memories of children growing up. Unfortunately, sometimes people only realize they have children when they start leaving home. Your family time is precious. It is irreplaceable and not renewable.

Also, a married couple needs to constantly work on their friendship. What a tragedy it is when a couple after 20 or more years of marriage realize they have very little in common. This only happens when couples overlook the importance of spending time with each other, talking to each other, and listening to each other on a regular basis.

If certain priorities are not set in life, there will always be something keeping us busy. We can certainly say that today Jesus wants to heal us from the hypnosis that has been cast upon us, that keeps us B.U.S.Y.: Burdened, Under, Satan’s, Yolk., so that we will not have time for Church, prayer, and family.

Putting God and others first should be our priority as this was the message that Jesus came to bring us. We all need to be healed of busyness, especially if that busyness blinds us to the most important things in the world: time with God in prayer and real time with our family.

Father François Beyrouti
Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church
451 West Madison Avenue
Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Office: (714) 985-1710
My cell: (714) 914-1710
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