HOMILY FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: How do we manage God’s trust?
BY: Fr Unachukwu Cyril CCE
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2022
God is superlatively good to us and constantly treats us well, even when we do not recognise or appreciate the blessings and gifts He gives to us as the best. He is also not uninterested about how we treat others, especially those who seem very less privileged than ourselves. The reality of deceit, exploitation and marginalisation sometimes make it impossible for us to be and give the best of ourselves to others. These vices create tension within the human family and also places obstacles on our progress towards God. May we be inspired to love and treat others as God loves and treats us; Amen.
The servant in the Parable of the Gospel Reading (Luke 16:1-13) was designated as “wasteful with his master’s property.” To be wasteful here means that he not only exploits and steals from his Master, but also uses his master’s goods in ways that totally contradict what his master stands for. It is easy not see ourselves in this servant. It is easy not to realise how we sometimes use God’s gifts and blessings to pursue ungodly ends and even to sponsor endeavours that militate against the reign of God. It is easy not to discover our insincerity with God and with our use of the benefits He grants us. The insincerity of this servant’s service to his master was shown by how he was able to sign-off his master’s wealth to his debtors for his own personal aggrandisement and selfish purposes. This servant was a very lucky man whom his master trusted to have allowed him access to his wealth and property. His master’s trust and openness were part of the greatest opportunities he had to learn and to grow to become as great and wealthy as his master. Rather, he used such opportunities to his own discredit and destruction. Hence, instead of being promoted and settled, he was sacked and eventually became jobless. Here, we see how deeply God trusts us and how free He allows us access into the beatitude of His very life; and certainly how benevolent He is by granting us the grace to become His sons and daughters. How do we deploy these blessings and favours of God? How do we manage God’s trust? One of the greatest failures of this servant was the mismanagement of trust. He would even carry this vice to meet his master’s debtors and showed them how abjectly poor he was in managing people’s trust. By cutting-off their debts, he must have thought that he was building friendship. But indeed, he was only freely advertising himself mischievous and reporting himself that he cannot be trusted and that he cannot be a true friend who helps his or her friends to grow into the best versions of themselves.
The Parable of the Gospel Reading also brings us to reflect on the purpose for which God grants us His blessings and favours especially in the form of material wealth or progress and in the form of political promotion and positions of leadership. God blesses us so that we can become instruments of God’s blessings to others. Both the one who is recognised as a master and the one who is recognised as a servant can be blessed by God in their respective statuses. A servant can be a blessing to his or her master and likewise a master can be a blessing to his or her servants. The thing is; God does not bless you in order that you may turn to exploit others who have come to you for help and in optimistic appreciation of the blessings of God upon you in a certain unique way. God does not facilitate our promotion to leadership positions both in the sacred and secular worlds so that we may exploit and subjugate those who are placed under our charge. This is the Message of the Prophet Amos in the First Reading of today (Amos 8:4-7); “you who trample on the needy and try to suppress the poor people of the country… The Lord swears it by the pride of Jacob, Never will I forget a single thing you have done.” Whatever way we use God’s blessings is subject to God’s appreciation and reward or to God’s rapprochement and condemnation. Achieving this end in the positive sense is not always easy. Saint Paul was conscious of this in his Apostolic and Pastoral ministry, and he knows and understands how indispensable God’s grace and assistance are in this regard. One can then understand him when he reminded Timothy in the Second Reading (1 Timothy 2:1-8) that “there should be prayers offered for everyone to God… He wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth.” As we constantly request to win God’s trust and for God’s blessings and favours, it is also necessary to pray that He gives us the necessary graces to utilise such blessings and favours in the best possible way that will bring glory onto His Holy Name and foster the progress and quality of life of our brothers and sisters, and of the world at large.
Lord God, we know how fragile we are and how delicate it is to manage the trust and love You have for us and the benefits of Your paternal presence in our lives and in the world. May we never abuse Your trust on us and may we never misuse your blessings upon us; Amen. Happy Sunday;