Homily for XXXIII (33) Sunday Year A. 15-11-2020 by Fr. Lubem Robert Waya, osj.
First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm: Psalm 127 (128):1-5
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
Last Sunday our first reading from the book of wisdom drew our attention to the unique characteristics of wisdom as attractive and an indispensable trait that we as Christians should all aspire to possess. The true wisdom we talk about here is God. Today the book of proverbs provides us with the effects of this wisdom in the life of a woman. That a perfect wife is that woman who is wise. She is not just the one who is charming and facially beautiful, for those things shall pass away with time. A truly perfect wife instead is that one with the inner beauty that manifests in her wise decisions and actions. Because she is wise, she knows how to put into full and complete use the different gifts and talents that God has given to her. She uses these gifts not just for the good of her husband, but also for the betterment of the society to give glory to God. She does her works without seeking attention or praises, but it is these very works of hers that tell her praises at the city gates. This is a reminder to us all that just like her, we also have all been blessed by God in one way or the other with different gifts and talents according to each one’s capability. God treats all of us the same way because He loves us all. But do we put our gifts into good use like the perfect wife does in our first reading of today? Do we use our gifts for the good of others and the betterment of the society, or do we use them for self-aggrandizement? This is why Christ tells us the parable of the talents today in the gospel reading as a challenge and an invitation to fidelity and responsibility in the use of our gifts.
First of all, this parable reminds us that we all are loved by God and He trusts us so much as to share with us His gifts and talents. He entrusts them to us to freely choose how to responsibly put them to use. God doesn’t interfere with our freedom because He wants each of us to be responsible. This means that all of us are blessed in one way or the other and there is no one who doesn’t have a talent. Now we should know our talents and that the value of a talent is unquantifiable. All these gifts we have received from God are imbued with the capacity to grow and multiply. However, this can only happen if we put them into right use. In economic terms, this is called investment.
How well have you invested your talents? These talents which are the different graces we have received from God on our life journey have to be used for the good of our neighbour and the betterment of the society. All these are summed up in the good news of salvation that we have received by our Christian calling. As we receive this good news, we are also meant to share it with those whom we meet in life. This means that the Christian life is a pilgrimage, and a true Christian is that person who does not ever stop on the way. Come rain, come sunshine, no matter what life throws at us, as true Christians we must just keep moving. This is an invitation to faith and hope. One who has faith and hope doesn’t give up. The one who buried his talent gave up on life and God. He is the one who has lost faith and hope; he is like the Christian who stops on the way because he is discouraged by what life throws at him. Burying the talent deprives it of yielding any results since it does not obey natural laws but economic laws. As seeds obey natural laws and grow when planted in the earth, so talents obey economic laws and multiply when invested. This investment on our Christian journey is the gracious sharing of these gifts with one another. Only the person who is generous can share.
Are you generous? Where do you find yourself in your life journey at the moment? We all are in different stages just the same way the talents were unevenly distributed according to each one’s strength, but the destination is the same – to make it grow more for the sake of others by not giving up. Whatever stage of life you are at, do not stop. Maybe you are doubting your choice of being Christian, maybe you doubt your faith, or you are struggling to break from a sinful addiction, or you are someone making efforts to teach and pass on the faith to people with little or no success. Maybe you are confronted with people who ridicule your faith and even threaten and persecute you, or you are faithful to your God yet your life is full of crosses; you are going through the dark night of the soul still groping in darkness and searching for light. Maybe it is the scandals of the church officials that blur your vision of faith. You have had more than enough and find yourself at crossroads. Remember it is God who called you and not some human being. Giving up is not an option! It means you have buried your talent. Remember, ‘the just shall live by faith (Hebrews 10:38).’ Therefore, even if you are already tired and down, crawl, and if you can’t crawl, walk, and if you can’t walk, run, and if you can’t run, fly. But at all costs, keep moving because in the Christian life no one can stand still. We either advance towards God or we slip back. And at the end of time the Lord will return to ask us to give an account of our pilgrimage here on earth.
How have you used the graces He has given to you on your journey? Can we say we have used the graces received to make the Kingdom of God stronger on earth or have we squandered them and done little or nothing to enrich the world with the Presence of God? Let us not forget that we will be called to give an account of our lives. If we make good use of the graces we have received, the Lord is going to reward us on His Day with everlasting life when He comes. Then He will say to us, ‘well done my good and faithful servant, since you were faithful in little matters, I will give you great responsibilities, come share your master’s joy’. May we hear these words from the Lord when He shall come at last to ask us an account of ourselves. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.