HOMILY FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: GET YOUR ACCOUNT READY
BY: Fr Livinus C. Igbodekwe
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2022
By way of analogy, life on earth can very much be described as a big market where there’s a continuous exchange of goods – a give-and-take kind of transaction. Everyone is entrusted with something of value to give. The commodities of our daily trade are our time, talent, treasure and influence. We give them out in return for something received. How we give and how we receive are very important to the Lord of Life, God.
1. The First Reading from Amos (8:4-7) puts it succinctly enough. God reminds/warns those who ply their trade at the expense of the poor/weak that He will not forget to punish their wickedness. Truly, life may seem more to us as a place of competition, where one climbs or tramples on another to succeed. This is a wrong worldview. We should remember that the world is founded on love and care by the Creator, God. But, it was corrupted by deception and crookedness of the devil. While the righteous advances God’s project of love and care for humanity in a bid to restore “Eden” to earth, the wicked men advance the project of crookedness and corruption of the devil in the world. Through hook and crook the wicked men take advantage of the poor. Economic meltdown of nations can be taken advantage of by wicked men whether traders/politicians/academicians, etc. to malign the poor masses. Their taking advantage of them is often based on the fact that the poor/weak cannot do anything about it. They have no choice. A lecturer, for example, can threaten a student with failure of his course if she refuses to grace his bed. A market man/woman can manipulate the scales to defraud the poor of his/her hard earned money. They use “magic cups” to sell grains and stuffs. At filling stations, use adjusted pumps to cheat customers. God watches! God, definitely, takes His place with the poor/oppressed to act on their behalf. He will definitely judge them on the day of reckoning for they can’t wait for the New Moon and Sabbath to be over for them to continue with their oppressive enterprises that keep rendering the rich richer and the poor poorer, to the point that the poor can pass for the value of a pair of sandals. Such inhuman treatment that reduces a man to the level of mere article displeases God so much. Nothing could be priced more than the dignity of every man.
2. As much as God commands all to pray for those in authority (influential people) and obey them, (2 Tim 2:1-8) those in authority must remember that God will judge them. They must give an account of their stewardship. Woe betide them if they had taken advantage of the weak/poor to advance their selfish goals. Some of them buy the poor over and use them as toutes. At political campaigns, they take advantage of their poverty by giving them peanuts , and when eventually voted in, they render them poorer. God is watching you all! And He will look into the account of your stewardship.
3. The Gospel brings the point home with the Parable of the Shrewd Steward (Lk 16:1-13). The steward wastes his master’s merchandise for selfish reasons. He forgets his place as a steward and occupies that of a master, dealing crookedly with a business not his own. The day of reckoning came, and the master requires an account of stewardship of him, and he was caught off guard. Even at this point, he thinks for himself instead of on how to appease his master. He rather goes to the customers who he sold goods on credit to manipulate their due bonds by lowering the prices for them so as to appear nice in their eyes. This he did in order to find hospitality from them perhaps his master relieves him of his duty as steward. Jesus says that the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than the children of light. Here, we are challenged to do better to advance the Kingdom of Justice than the children of the world who do their best to promote the kingdom of darkness. Why should pop music sell round the world than gospel songs? Why must pornography and worldly fashion sell more than the kingdom lifestyle? Why must the lyrics in worldly songs harp more strongly than the lyrics in our sermon materials? Are we doing much? If so why then does Our Lord Jesus sound dissatisfied? Wake up Church!
Happy Sunday to you all!