HOMILY FOR 33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: Parable of the Talents
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
God never created nor fashioned any of us empty of special gifts and talents. He bestowed on each one of us something unique; something exceptional with which we can make a difference. The first step to making a difference is looking inwardly to discover, to recognise and to put to use that which God has bestowed in us. Fortunately, God only expects us to make a difference proportionate to the unique talents He deposited in us and to our respective abilities. When the time comes for us to balance our respective accounts with God, may we never be empty of gains; Amen.
The readings and the Liturgy of the last Sundays of the Liturgical Year bring us to reflect on the goal of our Christian Vocation, the ultimate purpose of our relationship with God and the eschatological tone of all of our exploits as sons and daughters of God. The truth about each of us is that we were willed and created by God; there is a mission and purpose for which God called us into existence; and we shall surely render honest account to God on how we lived and utilised all the benefits and opportunities He generously lavished on us.
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The parable told by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 25:14-30) brings us to reflect, both collectively and individually, on our response and openness to the process of fructification of the seeds of God’s benevolence in us. Humanly speaking, we may not have received equally from God, but we all received something. Whatever we received from God is enough, irrespective of how small and insignificant it may seem to us. Also, whatever we receive from God is naturally and fundamentally fertile and fruitful. But we are the ones to make manifest their fertility and fruitfulness by putting them to use just like the first and the second servants in the Parable of today; “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made… you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.”
We grow unproductive and infertile, not because we were created that way, but because we fail to recognise the essential fruitful nature of the gifts in us and the generosity of the Giver. This ugly disposition makes one closed to the powerful influence and transformative effects of grace. This was the case with the third servant; “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown… and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.” Every gift and talent we receive from God is an offshoot of God’s goodness. These gifts and talents are naturally and essentially good. The ultimate purpose for which God deposited them in us is for the purpose of multiplication; the multiplication of good words, good works, good choices, good aspiration, and for the inducement of the process of multiplication of good works in others. The imagery of ‘a perfect wife’ in the First Reading (Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31), is that of a woman who is a professional in the art of multiplication of good works. Naturally, goodness diffuses itself; but goodness further diffuses itself where good works and words are multiplied as often as possible. This is the particular quality that distinguishes ‘a perfect wife’. The quality that “gives her a share in what her hands have worked for, and lets her works tell her praises at the city gates.” This particular quality of ‘a perfect wife’ is the ordinary quality of a true Christian; a true Christian is one who multiplies goodness through his/her words, works, choices and aspirations. This is the quality that keeps us steadily ready and prepared for the coming of the Lord and that defines us as sons and daughters of light; showing clearly that “we do not belong to the night or to darkness” (I Thess 5:1-6). Show me how often you are able to multiply goodness and I will inform you how much grace you carry and the quality of your filial relationship with God. Certainly, this is what will speak for us at the end of time, before the Eternal Throne of the Divine Majesty.
Lord God, we are grateful for the generous gifts You bestowed on us for the edification of the human family and for the spread of the sweet fragrance of Your infinite goodness all over the world. Help us to recognise these gifts and the power within them and to put them to fruitful use wherever we find ourselves; Amen.
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