Homily Sunday, November 19, 2017 Thirty-third Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, November 19, 2017
First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13. 19-20. 30-31
Psalm: Ps 127:1-5. “Happy are those who fear the Lord.”
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Thirty-third Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, November 19, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-november-19th-2017-ep-59-ordinary-time-33a (EPISODE: 59)
[Gospel values included in the readings: God entrusts us with gifts according to our abilities. The gifts we have are given to be shared and nurtured]
This weekend’s parable could be summed up with the following quote from Charles M. Shulz, creator of the cartoon characters: Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy …. He writes…: “life is like a ten-speed bicycle… Most of us have gears we never use”
We certainly have talents, and it would be more than a tragedy to bury them…..
This weekend’s gospel…. (often described as the parable of the “talents”) could also be entitled….’do not let what you cannot do, stop you from doing what you CAN do.’
The key to this parable is that the master gave each servant the number of talents according to their abilities… So he KNEW what they could do and he expected them to do what they could….
So, from the gospel’s perspective, we are not always the best judge of our own gifts and talents. God is!
And sometimes it takes family, friends or trusted mentors to encourage us in gifts and talents which we might be too lacking in confidence to see for ourselves. \\
We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to saying things like: “‘I am not good at that’ or…. “ I can’t do this”…. It is God who truly knows all the things that we “ARE” and “ARE NOT” able to do. Talents and gifts are to be promoted and nurtured or they else they get wasted.
“This weekend’s gospel speaks of the gifts God has given all of us. We are invited to develop the daily habit of reflecting on the gifts we have been given by God’s grace. Daily, we become more aware of the gifts God has given to us and we put them to good use in response to God's call.
Today's gospel invites us to reflect honestly on the talents, skills, and qualities that are part of each of us, and how we help multiply life's goodness by using those talents fully. We also have to be wary of all the weak excuses we can be tempted to use when we doubt our abilities or find the task challenging. The foolish person who hid his talent had what he thought was a perfect excuse to offer to the master, but the master soon labelled it for what it really was: - nonsense!” Our Lord can see through our lame excuses too.
The Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ time, focused on preserving and keeping the law of Moses…. “building a fence around the law” keeping the law pure and untainted…. They were so intent on this that they were really focusing on simply keeping the law, burying it in a field, and handing it back exactly as they had received it, without change or growth or improvement….. They had lost the point….. The Law had become an end in itself…. “keeping the rules” was the only thing that mattered….. Earning God’s reward by keeping the rules, but not nothing much else…. This had distorted the Good news of God’s Kingdom…….. What they were doing is a bit like a farm worker handing back a seed that they had been given and saying to the farmer… here it is… you gave it to me... I have preserved the seed… froze it… and here is the seed back exactly in the same condition as you gave it to me…. But how crazy… The seed is meant for the sowing. It is intended for planting… and for germination… it is to produce a plant which will bear fruit….. //
This tendency still occurs today…. the tendency to miss the forest for the trees…. and to focus on restrictive rules as opposed to the purpose, reason and spirit of the law and what it was trying to achieve, can be a constant obstacle….
God has distributed talents differently to different people…… we don’t all have the same qualities and talents…….. // (but the talents each of us have…. are given to share for the common good of all…..) // but we also know that (throughout history), there are some very talented people who have under-utilised their talent and produced mediocre fruit…// There are also countless stories of saints and famous people, over the ages, who overcame great obstacles (including very poor health), and limitations of all sorts, to produce the most amazing (disproportionate) fruits and astounding results in their lives….. They did it by determination, hard work (and of course, by the grace of God)….and utilising well the talents and vision they DID possess….. // It’s the story of the ‘tortoise and the hare’ – slow and steady wins the race…..….
The reward, in God’s kingdom, is an unusual one, according to this parable - - Those who do well, are given even more responsibility (That is, they are given even more work to do)… Sounds a little daunting doesn’t it… But we remember the saying: “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. Those who produced the fruits were given even more to produce….. So it is with us… There is no time like the present… and the harvest of the Kingdom is plentiful… and the labourers are few….
If we use our gifts, they will deepen, they will increase in significance and effect…. If we don’t use our gifts they will weaken…..we could lose them….. so the best way to keep our gifts is to use them in the service of God’s Kingdom…here and now…. serving God, by helping others. …
Fr Paul W. Kelly
##THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE. GOSPEL OF Matthew. (REVISED EDITION). BY WILLIAM BARCLAY.
Prepare the Word Resources,
Thirty-third Sunday of the Year A
(Sunday, November 19, 2017)
(EPISODE: 59 )
The Lord be with you.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy//You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth: Christ, have mercy//You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life: Lord, have mercy.//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Let us pray
(for the joy of serving the Lord faithfully)
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Sundays Ordinary III
Euch prayer two
Communion side. pwk: LH
Go forth, the Mass is ended.
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