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God's Extravagance

Homily for Wednesday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time

Extravagant is perhaps not the word that we often think of when we talk about God. We often think of extravagant things taken things too far, overly embellished, or costing too much. We are loathe to use these negative connotations in referring to God. However, if you look at the beauties of creation such as the Northern Lights, or the great redwood forests of California, or the stunning vistas of the mountains of Europe and Asia, it is clear that our God is an extravagant Creator. If we consider God’s willingness to forgive every sin, it is clear that God is extravagant in mercy. When we think of the sacrifice that was offered once for all, we come to understand that God is extravagant in loving us.

This is really the message of the Gospel today. God is an extravagant sower, broadcasting the seed of the Word everywhere, even on soil that is not conducive to yielding fruit. The seed of God’s word is sown on rocks, thorns, even on a path where it is trod underfoot.

How are we to respond to such extravagance? We may take for granted the magnificent beauty of creation. We may fail to notice and appreciate it. Sadly, many also take for granted the gracious mercy of God and tremendous love that God has shown us. However, the fact that we take it for granted does not in any way lessen God’s extravagance. It is freely given. It is fully redeeming. As the old hymn reminds us, “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul?”

God’s extravagance is clearly displayed in the Eucharist as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Each time we approach the altar, the very life of God is given to us without payment of any kind. We must learn to be extravagant in our thanks and in our love.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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