HOMILY FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: USING OUR RESOURCES AND POSITIONS RIGHTLY AS BELIEVERS.
BY: Fr A. N. Abiagom, CM.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2022
1. The gospel reading (Luke 16:1-13) concludes with a very striking remark from Jesus: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (v. 13). Considering its transliteration from the Aramaic, “Mamonas” connotes “the derogatory sense of earthly goods: property, wealth or money. Mammon is personified as the Syrian god of riches or money”.
Although the servant in the gospel was dishonest, he was commended by his master. The appraisal he got from his master is not an encouragement to dishonesty, but a call to the judicious use of resources and positions.
The message of the parable of the “Dishonest Steward” is in the declaration: “For the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light” (v. 8). How are the sons of the world wiser? They make use of unrighteous mammon to securing friendship for themselves. Do believers do the same among themselves in view of the kingdom of God?
2. Several scholars opine that the non mention of the surname of Amos at the introduction of the book (Amos 1:1) shows that the book is more about the message than prophet. The book of Amos is one of the prophetic books that echoes loudly on the importance of socio-enonomic and religious justice.
Amos prophesied against the sins of Israel as evident in the first reading (Amos 8:4-7). The statement: “…buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat”(v. 6) illustrates injustice in the misuse of resources and privileged positions in light of the socio-enonomic and religious sphere of Israel at the time of the prophet.
Those who trampled on the rights of the poor are referred to as the “Cows of Bashan” (usually very fat cows) that dwell on the mountain of Samaria (Amos 4:1).
3. St. Paul in the Second reading (I Timothy 2:1-8) encourages that prayers be made for those in high positions of authority, for them to be godly in their ways of life. Often, the control of a nation’s or society’s resources is in the hands of her leaders. Why do leaders need prayers? Many leaders have failed to make judicious use of their respective positions and the resources under their control for the common good of all.
4. In Luke 16:19-31, the failure of the rich man to make proper use of his resources and position towards the well being of the poor man named Lazarus, was the reason for his condemnation in hell. How do we make use of our resources and positions in the world?
Do we use these to oppress, marginalize, victimize and condemn others?
The need to realize that our resources and positions are opportunities for us to serve others in love for the greater glory of God (ad majorem gloriam Dei) cannot be overemphasized. Our resources (money, wealth or riches) and positions should not become a “false object of worship to us (Mammon).
O Lord, please soften and transform our hearts unto mercy and compassion and fill our minds with the sense of justice and truth, so that we may constantly make good use of our resources and positions in the service of humanity in accordance with your divine will through Christ our Lord (Amen).