HOMILY FOR THE 33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
THEME: THERE IS NO IDLE WAITING FOR CHRIST!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
(PROV. 3:10-13,19-20,30-31,1THES. 5:1-6, MT.25:14-30)
According to Mother Theresa, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” She did not talk about doing great things but about doing little things with great love. In these words of Mother Theresa lies the depth of today’s readings.
Parables are open-ended stories. As we come closer to the end of this liturgical year, the church encourages us to remain faithful and dedicated to Christ our head. As good servants, we must be devoted to Him. Also, Jesus uses the parable of the talent to equally remind us that we must be ready to render a good account of our talents. So, as faithful servants, he expects us to render a good account of the “talents” we have received.
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During Jesus’ time, a talent was an amount; thirty kilograms of precious metal, but in the Parable of the Talent in our Gospel today, when Jesus speaks of talents, He is referring to God-given abilities to each of us. Since Jesus’ time, people have come to understand the word “talent” in this sense.
Today’s gospel does not promise us success in everything, but that the risk of trying to put God’s gifts to work is better than the fear of losing. Never bury a talent. Even when that success you had starts to head downhill, as all success does, you don’t want to change what you know, since the devil you know is always better than the angel you don’t know they say, even when the thing you know isn’t working anymore. Business is funny that way – but it isn’t really business that is this way, it’s human beings. Whatever we might say to the contrary, change comes hard to us, because with change comes risk, the question often is, what if it doesn’t work out?
My dear friends, you have all been given many gifts. Gifts to help you assist others and to lead useful lives. Do not bury them. You are all called to light, not darkness. Sometimes we take for granted the gift of speech, of touch, of caring and replace them, blessed speeches with curses, sweet Touches, or a handshake with violence. These seemingly ordinary but wonderful gifts that we can use to bring peace. In this parable, Jesus tells us that it is not about how many talents we have; what matters is how we use them. We are not equal in talent, but we can be equal in effort. Then God will be very pleased, and say to you one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter the Kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.”
So everywhere, there is the risk of the cross, but without taking that risk of losing, of being hurt, says this gospel, not much good can happen either. Not to risk, is burying ourselves alive. If we do not use our gifts wisely, God will consider us to be wicked and lazy like the third man in the parable. He compared himself to others and was afraid to fail. So, he did nothing. That was the problem, he did nothing.
We have been given a talent or two to light up the world around us with love. Joy is the final talent the master gives us. It is the crown of risking love and sharing in our world with the same fidelity, mercy, and trust that our Master did. Jesus challenges us to be prudent and productive with our talents. Most importantly, he admonishes us to live in anticipation of His inevitable return. We must not wait for this return in idleness.
God bless you!
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