33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
November 16, 2014
As the man was preparing to go away on a journey, he knew he had to leave someone in charge of his possessions. He calls forth three of his servants to give them some of his wealth while he is away. He gives “to each according to his ability” so he must know the servants. Based on what he knows about them he gives them different amounts.
Then,“After a long time” he returns to settle the account with them. Two have doubled what he gave them so he says to them “Well done, my good and faithful servant” and gives them more responsibility.
The third did nothing with what he was given. In fact, he literally buried it in the ground. He is punished for his failure to do good with what he has been given.
In the beginning, God gave humans dominion over all the earth. Everything comes from God and belongs to God. I need to stress God gives us “dominion”, not “ownership.” What do we do with what God has given us?
Jesus came and taught us the Lord’s ways. He gives us the gift of life with God. Do we appreciate what we have been given?
The Holy Spirit gives various gifts and abilities. Do we recognize the gifts? Do we use them for ourselves or to help other people? Do we use them for the building up of God’s Kingdom?
Just as the man returned one day to settle the accounts with his servants, Jesus will return to settle accounts with us for what we have been given.
We don’t know for as Paul says “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
As our church year draws to a close with the approach of Advent, our readings lead us to think about the Second Coming and our readiness.
So we might ask when the Second Coming will happen. How much time do I have to get ready, can you give me the date and time?
That’s the wrong way of thinking about it. We need to be ready but ‘being ready’ as Catholics should not be scheduled for a particular day. If we truly want to follow Jesus we need to live as Jesus taught us every day. When we do, we will be ready every day.
So ask yourself how well are you using what God has given you? Do you use what you have solely for yourself or in ways that show your love for God and neighbor?
Sometimes people feel like they are insignificant and don’t offer much to the world. That would be wrong. God has given each of us gifts to help make our world better. I serve God in direct ministry but we all can help make the world better.
Let’s think about some tasks that might be described as insignificant by some. First, I think of custodial staff that clean building. Where would we be if they didn’t clean? Visibly we would have a mess but more importantly, if they don’t clean and do a good job, we end up with more germs and we all get sick. People who clean are important.
What about people who “dig ditches?” Without them, we would have no water or sewer. Won’t that be a mess?
So, as we think about the gifts we have been given, it isn’t just about what we do but the attitude we do it with.
Does the way you use what you have given show an “attitude of gratitude?”