Homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: Being Faithful to God
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday October 6 2019
(Lk. 17:5-10) Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus in response to an increase in faith from His disciples, told the story of the unprofitable servant. While faith is a gift, it is up to us to nurture it to make it deep and strong. By constantly doing our responsibilities as disciples, faith will gradually develop and mature. And when we do, we should not think of it as a service in which God will owe us a reward. Being faithful to God is our call and our life. Instead of obliging God to reciprocate our faith in Him with some graces, we must thank Him for bring given the opportunity to express our faith and take the position of humility by reminding ourselves that we have just done our duty.
It is an opportune time to clarify this duty and reward issue. Duty is doing something which is expected of a person or position. Do we reward a student who just did his assignment? Do we reward an employee who just submitted a company report? Do we reward a child who just rendered respect to his parents? Do we praise a local official who just provided us with basic services? It is different if a student tendered a birthday party for us. It is different if an employee gifted us with a car. It is different if our child treats his parents by loaning some money. It is different if the local official will give his constituents free house and lot. We have to distinguish if what are being done are duties and obligations or gift. For Jesus, doing our duties and obligations do not merit rewards.
Are we the kind who would collect from God for the masses, rosaries, sacrifices, donations, and other religious acts we have done? Do we question His presence and love when we get sick, have problems, or sad even if we were faithful to Him and had been good to our neighbours? Do we sometimes threaten Him with becoming sinful since the sinful ones you have known seem to be having the better of life? In other words, do we hold God accountable when we are just being faithful? We should be reminded that being faithful needs no reward. Being faithful is its own reward.
Jesus had done so many things for us. He saved us. He offered His life for us. God created us. We owe our existence to God. We did not do anything to be worthy of that gift. We owe God big time. Even the things we claim to have been due to our efforts, intelligence, handwork, etc., go back to God. We have nothing we can call our own. Thus, it is only God who has right over it. The least we could do is to thank Him. And the best way to thank Him is to follow His commandments and make our lives worthy of God’s generosity. In fact, no matter how difficult our lives are, we can still utter words of gratitude to Him.
And he does not stop caring for us. In the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk, we heard the him pleading to the Lord to make Himself present and address the violence, strife, and misery His people are experiencing. God’s response, the “vision”, “is always on time, presses to fulfilment, and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it. it will surely come, it will not be late.”
Even if we do not deserve a reward for the good we have done, God is generous. In His goodness, we will be rewarded. But, let it be clear that the reward is not because He owes us but because He loves us and wanted to grace us.