HOMILY FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: IN ALL YOU DO, BE HONEST.
BY: Rev. Fr. Edward Onwueme.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2022
1st Rd. Amos 8:4-7,
2nd Rd. 1 Tim. 2:1-8,
Gospel Of St. Luke 16:1-13.
The cause of the shameful death which Ananias and his wife, Sapphira experienced in Acts 5, was because of their dishonesty. Telling lie is intrinsically evil. That is why Jesus says in Matt 5:37, “All you need to say is “Yes” if you mean “Yes”, “No”, if you mean no, anything more than this comes from the evil one.” Honesty simply means:
1) When we always tell the truth, and never steal or cheat.
2) Not hiding the truth about something.
3) Showing an honest mind or attitude,
4) Honesty is the quality of being truthful, frank and transparent, etc.
To be honest is one of the virtues that is dying seriously in our lives. In the first reading, God told Amos to go and warn the people of Israel. I have seen dishonesty and wickedness they have been showing the poor ones among themselves. Amos started warning the Israelites with tears because, they have disappointed God.
In the gospel, Jesus brings to light the fact that money and material things do not last forever, and therefore advises us on how to make use of them without losing our salvation. “The best way to invest,” a saying goes, “is to invest in human beings, especially the poor”.
THE SINS THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL COMMITTED
1) They broke God’s law and failed to keep His covenant.
2) They trampled on the poor and the needy and robbed them of the little they possessed.
3) When they did business, the merchants used inaccurate measurements “Ike Iko”, so they could rob their customers. While the law demanded in Lev. 19:35-36, that, “They should use accurate weights and measures”, but because of their selfish interest, they cared only for making as much money as possible.
4) They desecrated the Sabbath and the religious holy days, by doing their businesses because of money, etc.
Dishonesty and lies have eaten deeper in our lives. God warns us in Lev 19:11, ” You shall not steal… Not lie to one another…,” and Prov. 30:8 says, “Remove far from me falsehood and lying.”
THE DISHONESTY OF THE WISE STEWARD
The problem of dishonesty also manifested in the Gospel. Let us briefly see the drama of dishonesty of this Steward. Moreover, a Steward is someone who manages another person’s wealth. Actually, the most important thing about a Steward is that he serves his Master faithfully (1 Corinth. 4:2).
The problem of this foolish Steward began when he forgot that he was a steward and began to act as if he was the owner. His Master heard about the way his steward has been wasting his wealth. He immediately asked his steward the inventory of his goods and an audit of his books.
This Steward became wise, when he knew, he would lose his job. He could not change the past, but he could prepare for the future.
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF THIS WISE STEWARD
Jesus gave three admonitions based on the experience of this steward:
1) Jesus admonishes us to use our opportunities wisely. Let us use our wealth to make friends and not enemies.
2) He admonishes us to be honest in the way we use material wealth.
3) He admonishes us to be wholly devoted to God and single minded (Matt 6:19-24). We can’t love or serve the two Masters, “God and Money.” Jesus is demanding from us integrity, total devotion to God that puts Him first in everything (Matt 6:33). If God is our Master, then money will be our servant and we will use our resources to do the will of God, just as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob did. Even as Dorcas in Acts 9:35-40, Tobit, David, etc, did. If God is not our Master, then we will become the servants of money.
Child of God, before we judge the steward, let us apply it in our lives today. We all are Stewards in this world and God is the Master the owner of the world. Let us examine our lives to see how faithful and honest we have been as the Stewards of what has been given to us.
1) As a Priest, am I honest to myself and to God in my priestly vows of obedience, poverty, and chaste celibacy?
2) As parents, are you faithful to each others as husband and wife? Or, have you broken the vows of your marriage?
3) As a business person, are you honest to your customers?
4) As a medical doctor, are you honest to the vow you took to protect and save lives as a doctor or nurse? Have you broken it by killing your patients, engaging euthanasia, abortion, and selling all the contraceptive drugs?
5) As a Judge, you vowed that you will always defend the truth. Are you honest to this vow? Be honest in your answers. God is calling us today to give Him an account of our stewardship.
Now, what are we going to account for on the last day as Stewards?
A) Time, Money, Physical, Mental, and Moral abilities.
B) All the privileges and opportunities we have.
C) Whatever we have, we have received, hold in trust, and must account for to God, etc.
The question I wish to ask is, are we still honest to our God, especially, among ourselves, ‘The Priests and other leaders?” The answer for my own observation is, NO!
1) Are we honest to God in our various parishes, and Communities, with regard to these titles we give people in the Church and in the Communities? We will see someone who is not qualified, but because she has the money, she will be given Ezinne, Eziada or Nneoma title.
2) Many people who are Knights and Ezinna in the Catholic Church and Chief, Nze in our Communities today are not qualified, but because many of us love money with passion, we give them these titles unmerited.
3) How many poor people in our various parishes, and communities who have good behaviors, have been given the titles of Knighthood, Ezinne, Nneoma, Ezinna, Eziada, Chief, Nze, etc?
4) What about the Sacraments. We collect money more than what the Church asks us to collect. Remember the sin of Simony. Many have wedded people without the marriage courses, and baptized in various parishes without the sponsors; just because they gave us money. We forget that the love of money is the root of every evil (1Tim 6:10).
Child of God, the Church is seriously in trouble. For us to save this Church, everyone needs to be honest, especially, our Church leaders.
Many of us have made money our god. Politicians will expect everyone to worship them because of money. John the Baptist says in Lk 3:13-15, “Be satisfied with what you have.” In Eccl. 5:9-10 and Heb. 13:5, the Bible says, “No one who loves money ever has enough. Therefore, put avarice out of your lives and be content with whatever you have.” Let us be honest to God in all we do. Ask yourself this question Jesus asks us in Matt 16:26, “What then will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life?”
May God help us to be satisfied with what we have, and remove the spirit of greediness, dishonesty and selfishness in our lives, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Happy Sunday To You!
Have A Nice Week.