33rd SUNDAY HOMILY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: Using Our Talents Wisely
By: Deacon Bill Frere
Gospel – Matthew 25:14-30
St. Joseph Church, Nazareth
Revisiting a favorite story!
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
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When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done it so very differently.
Just like that carpenter, every day we build our own house, we build our lives. Every day we hammer a nail, set up a wall, paint a room. And sometimes we don’t do a very good job. We get lazy, we get forgetful and distracted. And some days we just give up, thinking we don’t have the will or the right tools for the job. Sometimes we doubt our abilities, our TALENTS! And some days we just lazily choose to take the easy path and ignore our God-given gifts!
Other times, we follow the path of those 2 servants who invested their talents and gained a profit. They took a risk, a leap of faith, and saw their talents increased. And what about that first servant? He was afraid to lose what he had! He gave in to fear instead of faith.
The lesson for us is clear! In order to ‘share the Master’s joy”, we must recognize our God-given talents and put them to use, not bury them in the sand. We must work diligently and faithfully and, yes, sometimes even take a risk in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Keep the faith! Share the faith!
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