HOMILY FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: DEFEND THE POOR AND THE MARGINALIZED
BY: REV. FR. GODWIN ALKALI, CSSp.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2022
READINGS: Am 8:4-7; Ps: 113; ITim 2:1-8;
On this twenty-fifth Sunday of ordinary time, the Church admonishes us to reflect on our attitude towards the poor and the marginalized and towards money, material things, and wealth. The readings posits that injustice, greed, and oppression are among the greatest factors that have perpetuated poverty in our society.
Prophet Amos condemns injustice and oppression against the poor in today’s First Reading. He wrote about when the rich took all the land and “enslaved” the poor in their farmlands. They exported food to make more money for themselves, while the poor starved and died of hunger.
In today’s second reading, Paul urges us to pray for everyone especially, kings, rulers, and government leaders. This prayer is necessary for conversion and wisdom. If our leaders are converted and become wise, they will help to stop corruption, injustice, and oppression in our land and systems.
Jesus Christ tells the story of the unfaithful steward who, discovering that he was about to lose his place in his master’s employment due to his wastefulness, decided to use his office to gain favors from his master’s debtors by cutting down their debts in today’s gospel.
TAKE HOME LESSONS
1. Nigeria is like Isreal. We are blessed with both human and Natural resources. Few individuals have hijacked the power thus, Marginalizing the Poor. There is no employment opportunity, no good hospitals, school are always on strike, heavy taxation on the poor in the name of PRODUCE…,bad roads everywhere, and hunger..
2. We face similar situations of greed, injustice, love of money, wealth, corruption and marginalization all over the world. While some cannot afford one meal per day, others waste money on useless projects. Sometimes, the excuse we give is that the poor are lazy or that there would always be poor people in the world.
3. In our various homes we are not Just to the Ophans and widows. Some of us have confiscated their inherited properties and deny them of shelter, good feeding, quality education, etc. While they labour for us in our businesses (hawking), nursing our children, running errands for us, cooking for us helping in the farms, etc.
4. We must not manipulate the poor and the needy for economic gains. Hence, any form of injustice or oppression against the poor and weak cry’s out to God for vengeance as the blood of Abel did (Gen 4:10).
5. From the unfaithful steward we learn that long term benefit is better than the immediate gratification. This means, the seed you sow today will bear the fruits for tomorrow.
6. The unfaithful steward teaches us that building relationships is more profitable than building structures and that we become richer when we reach out to others..
7. The master praised the unfaithful steward not for the falsification of the accounts but for thinking about the future and building a relationship structure for it.
8. Jesus wanted His disciples and us to be as shrewd in assuring our place in heaven. We must make use of everything we have and do everything we can to be part of the Kingdom when the time comes.
9. Jesus reminds us today that, money and material things do not last forever. We should therefore learn to invest in the poor to improve their conditions. Amassing wealth for ourselves without using them to help those in need only amounts to greed and selfishness.
10. Money and wealth have value only when used wisely to help those around us. It is only the ungodly who use their wealth to oppress the poor and the weak. This is because they are like “the fool who says there is no God” (Ps 14:1).
11. It is important to know that God blesses us with wealth to help and improve the lives of those in need. It is not meant only for our families and us. So, we must be charitable with it.
12. As the Psamist says, Christ is the defender of the poor and the marginalized. “He raises the poor and lifts the lowly from the dust.” Also, the Book of Proverbs cautions us thus: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31).
13. All of us are Managers (stewards) of God, Bishops, Priest, Deacons, Pastors, Politicians, Teachers, Parents, Children, Business men and women. Do we serve God through His humanity at all?
May God help ust to be trustworthy and loyal in all our dealings with God and our neighbours.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
1. Are we not tempted to become callous and
hard hearted when our own comfort is
2. How do we deal with people who owe us but
are incapable of paying back?
3. Are we not like the steward and the debtors
in their unscrupulousness?
4. Don’t we unscrupulously alter documents to
suit us to dupe others?
5. Don’t we alter receipts and our birth
6. How do I treat people placed under my care?
7. Do I oppress the Poor and the Needy?
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.
REV. FR. GODWIN ALKALI, CSSp.