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Homilies :: Latin Rite
NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Download This Homily

August 11, 2019

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 

 

Wis 18:6-9, Heb 11:1-2, 8-19

Psalm 33:1&12, 18-19, 20&22

Heb 11: 1-2, 8-19

Lk 12:32-48

 

Gospel Reading

 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servant whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

 

Reflection

 

Be Partners with the Lord

 

If we look for the kernel points of the Gospel today, they are three: Do not be afraid, but keep your trust; Do not amass, but lend and give; Do not be too much preoccupied with your own affairs, but engage yourself with the Lord’s affairs.

 

However emphatic the Lord’s words may sound, the message nevertheless seems out of sync with the trend of our times. From what we learn from the various surveys appearing in the newspapers, the economic liberalisation may have brought a lot of prosperity to a lot of people in our land, yet in the happiness index it is unhappiness that keeps growing. The people who are growing richer are not necessarily growing happier. And it is lot worse for the people who are not growing rich. The sight of some people outpacing them in wealth makes them feel miserable. The photographs of people pounding on the dead bodies of the victims of recent massive landslides and flood in Uttarakhand to take away the little symbols of their wealth like the golden chains and bangles was a poignant reminder of the greed, insecurity and fear that rule the minds of a lot of people.

 

Jesus cautions that what we have will not take away our fear and insecurities. It is not the lack of wealth that is the source of our insecurity. Rather it is the burning desire for wealth that breeds fear and insecurity in us. And, Jesus’ prescription?! ‘Give and lend.’

 

Dhirubhai Ambani is said to be originator of what has come to be the share market in India. Dhirubhai was not a rich man. He came from a middle class background. But he had a dream to make it big in life. He had the ambition, an imaginative mind, a steely resolve, a readiness to work hard, and more importantly, a reputation of being honest. The only thing he did not have was money. But there were scores of others who had money. May be, in small sums. Generally people kept their money securely but unproductively - in safe lockers, under the pillows, etc. Dhirubhai contacted his friends and acquaintances and tried to convince them that he would do business with their money and share the profits with them. With his reputation and resolve, he won them over. People lent him their money. As a result, he now had a large sum, enough to start a decent business. From there, it was a story of successes and profits. Dhirubhai became very rich and in the process made his shareholders rich as well.

 

The Lord is one who keeps awake even as we are fast asleep. Our concerns are best taken care of by him. Hence the Lord asks us to forgo our worries and our preoccupation with our little concerns. He is asking us to sell our shares to him. With that we will not stand to lose; we will rather gain far more.

 

If we are not easily convinced by the Lord’s logic, the letter to Hebrews invites us to take a glance at Abraham. Abraham was doing quite well according to the standards of his time and place. Then comes his encounter with the Lord who promises really big. Faith moves Abraham to take a risk. He leaves the land of his ancestors and everything therein. With that he cut every line that gave him security. That was a blind jump into the abyss. As the story goes, Abraham did not have to ever regret the risk he took. Now an old man with an infertile wife, a tribal elder whose influence did not transcend his village, the Lord makes him the father of a multitude. More than that, a paradigm figure of faith, whom generations of people will look to for the courage of faith.

 

The working of the modern day share market is a very poor imitation of the logic of the business that the Lord is inviting us to. In the share markets of the world, the size of our profit corresponds to the size of our share. For the Lord, the size of our share does not matter much. What is important is that we become ready to be partners with him. ‘If you have faith like the size of a mustard seed, command this mountain to be removed from here and be planted in the sea; and it will happen.’ What we give may be just a mustard seed; the Lord’s return gift will be overwhelming beyond our imagination. A mountain!!

 

Can we take the Lord and his promise a bit more seriously? At least as serious as we take a mustard seed? Then consider this: I have not been on talking terms with one of my relatives or friends. I am sure that it is all entirely his or her fault? Can I then have faith as small as the mustard seed to move me to trade my feeling of hurt for the Lord’s promise of great reward? Or, I have a little, old habit like drinking or gambling or gossiping that is a hurdle on my growth into a person with dignity and respect. Can I trade it for the Lord’s promise of great reward?

 

The Lord says, ‘loosen your heart and your fist; give up your hurts and complaints; give up your attachment to things and detachment from people; after all, all these together amount to just a mustard seed. You get from me a mountain of grace and blessings.’

 

Dr. George Kulangara CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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