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Homily for 25th Sunday, September 19, 2010

posted Sep 20, 2010, 3:57 AM by fathermark@stmaryshuntingburg.org

25th Sunday of the Year

St. Mary's, Huntingburg

September 18-19, 2010



            The Gospel story today is about a rich man who calls in his steward (his manager) for "squandering his property."

We don't know everything that this "squandering" may have involved, but at least part of it becomes apparent immediately.

As soon as he realizes that he's been caught, the steward starts contacting all of this master's debtors, and he begins to write off part of their debt.

He says "You owe hundred ... well, make it fifty."

To another debtor, he says "You owe a hundred ... well, make it eighty."

So, obviously, the steward has been overcharging his master's customers, and then pocketing the extra profit for himself.

He's been using what the master entrusted to him to profit himself.

So, that's at least one way that he's been "squandering" the master's property: ANY and ALL of the profit from the master's products belong to the master; but that wicked steward  has been making an "extra" profit and "squandering it" by spending  it on himself.

            We know, of course, that the wicked steward is us ... that the wicked manager is you and me.

The stories that Jesus tells are never just about some fictional people in an alternate  universe...

This is a story that challenges us to look at ourselves ...

How have we been squandering what the Lord has given us to care for .. how have we claimed the profit for ourselves from what the Master has given us to oversee?

            Well, we could start by saying that the Lord has given us the gift of faith.

Of the billions of people on the face of this earth, God has given the gift of faith to you and me ... the gift of knowing our Lord and Savior ... the gift of the sure path to eternal life ... the gift of the faith that missionaries have tirelessly spread throughout the world, ... the faith for which countless martyrs died, ... the faith upon which generations of Christians have staked their entire lives.

And God has made you and me the caretakers of this precious gift of faith.

Well, do we treasure this great gift of faith ... or do we just take it for granted?

Are we making our faith grow and bear fruit through prayer and reading and learning ... or do we just pull it out, more or less, once a week for mass?      

Do we share the faith with others in word and action and good example ... or is our faith hidden like a light under a bushel basket?

Are you and I stewards who are squandering the Lord's gift of faith?            

            The Lord has given each of us the precious gift of life ... the gift of years and days and hours and minutes ... the gift of time ... the gift of energy to live...

The fact that we exist ... that we breathe ... every moment that we take breath ... every ability we have ... every talent we possess ... is a precious gift from God ... given to us to enjoy ... but also to share ... to continue his work ... to be his hands  and feet, his instruments, in the world.

But are we grateful for the precious gift of life  ... for what we have and are ...?

Do we care for our lives, our health, our bodies  ... as every good steward would?

Do we cherish and respect and honor the lives of others? ... whether the lives of the unborn ... or the life of our pesky neighbor ... or that person who could use my help?

Do I spend my life doing for me, myself, and I ... and maybe a few others who matter to me ...  or do I have time, energy, attention to share with my church and my community and those in need?

Are we good stewards of the precious gift of life ... or are we squandering it by just using for ourselves.


            The Lord  has given us the gift of love ... people to love ...and people who love us ... spouses and children and  grandchildren ... parents and grandparents ...  brothers, sisters, friends ... sinners, every one of them ... odd characters, not a few of them ... but people we love ... and who love us in return in countless small ways ...

Do we take time to think how blessed we are?

Do we love these people in our lives as we ought ... give them the attention that they deserve ... show our love for them?

Do we who are so blessed, share our love beyond the little circle of those who love us too?

Do we reach out to the lonely, to the people at the margins, to the grieving?

Are we grateful, faithful, profitable stewards of the gift of love?

            In the end, that wicked steward was serving two masters ... the one he was supposed be serving ... and himself.

And ultimately, you really can't do that ... especially when everything you have has come from the true Master.

... and sometimes, we're not really so different.

We're serving the Lord ... with a good helping of using his gifts to serve ourselves ( ... really, maybe more ourselves than our Lord).

            But, you know, that wicked steward may have been wicked ... but he was no dummy.

He was a shewd one.

He got caught ... and he knew that he had to do something about it.

            What about us?

What about you and me ... who have squandered the gift of faith ... and the gift of life ... and the gift of love ... to name just a few ...

Are we shrewd enough to know that we have to do something ...?

Are we smart enough to know that we have to change ... that we have to do things differently ... that we have to enjoy and use and share the precious gifts that God has given us ... not just for ourselves ... but also, and maybe especially, for the people around us?