Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: WE SHALL RENDER ACCOUNT OF OUR SERVICES.
By: Fr Jb Mbbah-Offor.
Homily for Sunday September 22 2019
Amos 8:4-7, 1 Tim 2:1-8, Luke 16:1-13
In the first reading of today taken from the prophecy of Amos 8:4-7, the prophet Amos thundered against the exploitation of the poor by the money- makers, who trample upon the needy and made money off them.These rich men( money makers) during the time of Amos became wealthy by cheating the poor and also had no respect for holy days. God spoke through his prophet Amos not to forget any of their deeds.
There are people in our world today who are part of this ruthless group of rich men who go about exploiting the poor. These people are : bribe takers, cheaters, those who underplay their workers etc. God is speaking through his prophet Amos; ‘ Never will I forget a single thing you have done” .
In the second reading, St Paul talks about making supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life and respectful in every way. Those who are in high positions are those that have people they lead. A leader is he that has control over a society, association, union or community. So a leader is one among those in high positions. We have ecclesiastical leaders and secular leaders in our society. Yes, is good to pray for them because they pass through so many challenges in life. They need our prayers to succeed in their work. We should also pray for all men as the text has it. Prayer is the key to call down the glory of God. Jesus started with prayer, taught His disciples how to pray in Luke 11:1-4 and also ended with prayer.
In the Gospel of today, Jesus relates the parable of a Steward who squandered his masters possessions. His master summoned him and asked him’ what is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service for it is about to be terminated. The Steward became afraid because of what his master told him. He dishonestly reduced the quantum of debts of his master’s tenants, but his master praised him at the end of the parable because of his astuteness.
Jesus told this parable in the presence of his disciples as can be found in Luke 16:1, but there was a suggestion that His audience was mixed with disciples and Pharisees. Luke 16:14 states that the Pharisees heard all these things and ridiculed Him. The parable is for the benefit of the disciples. Jesus is not encouraging us to emulate the behaviour of the characters but is trying to expound on a larger principle.
According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Steward means a person whose job it is to organize a particular event or to provide services to particular people or to take care of a particular place. There are four kinds of species of stewards according to fr Ben Agbo.They are: 1.Foolish stewards- characterized by laziness and worldliness, Matthew 25:26. 2.Unjust stewards- characterized by cheating of fellow stewards. 3. Wicked stewards- characterized by hating/ oppression of fellow stewards. 4.wise stewards- characterized by lobing/ caring for fellow stewards.
The Steward mentioned in the Gospel was a rogue, an unjust steward who reduced the dept’s of his master’s tenants but his master praised his cleverness. His master praised his astuteness and not his dishonesty.
Rabbi Kimchi would say, ” this world
Is a house; heaven the roof, the stars the lights; the earth with its fruits, a table spread; the master of the house is the holy and blessed God; man is the Steward, into whose hands the goods of this house are delivered, if he behaves himself well, he shall find favour in the eyes of his Lord; if not, he shall be turned out of his stewardship”.
We are all stewards. We are just servants in charge of God’s gifts given to us by God because we will account for them at the end. Let’s use our talents and opportunities for the good of the people. On the day of judgement we will stand before God to give account before the Lord, not like the unjust steward but as faithful servants whom the Lord shall thank for job well done.
Fr Jb Mbbah-Offor.