Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>I think those who know me would say that I am a fairly optimistic and hopeful person. So much of that optimism and hope comes from my faith, from my families, from my friends, from my ability to be involved in this wonderful ministry at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.
This past week, I received a call from two families that I know very well. And both of them had a similar and a very sad experience. The one called and said that their mother had passed away. She had just turned 70. She had a massive stroke. I went to the hospital and anointed her and in the following day she passed away, called home to God. But difficult, sad, so hard for the family.
Couple of days later, I received another phone call from a family I know well. From the same parish that I used to be an associate pastor at. And the dad, a 78 year old man filled with life – in great shape, worked out every day, had a massive stroke, and he, too, was called home to God the next day. Again, sad and tragic. In the light of faith, we know that they’re home and they rest in God. But it’s so difficult for those who are left behind.
I did a lot of reflecting after this past week. And as I was reading the gospel today, it occurred to me, and I’ve used this expression before, but everything in life, everything in life that we have will be either taken away from us or given away. We really own nothing, including our own lives. God gives us this wonderful gift of life, this wonderful treasure. That’s how it all begins at conception. And we’re born into the world and we’re born into life. And we live that life. And we have wonderful encounters, ups and downs, but we live our life. And we live our life, hopefully in gratitude for all that God has given to us.
All life is gift. Everything we have in life is gift. And to acknowledge that helps us with the starting point of what our response in life should and need be about. It needs to be about gratitude. What we celebrate in Eucharist. Gratitude and thanksgiving for all that God has given to us. The great example is spelled out in the gospel today. Did you catch it? It’s the master who returns home. The image of God who returns home and his servants have been vigilant. They have been faithful. They’ve done the call of what it is to be a disciple. And it’s God who sits them at a table and he becomes the servant. He waits on his servants – us.
What a beautiful image. Our God who loves us so dearly shows us what leadership and love is all about. It’s in caring for others. And in the gospel passage today, it’s the servants, the very children of God that God cares for and brings to the table and nourishes us. Exactly what he’s doing here as we celebrate Eucharist today.
What’s been given to us as gift, life itself, we are to share generously with others. To take that example of Jesus. Servant leadership. To be grateful for what we receive and to share with others. And in that way and in this way, the world will be enhanced and made better. And we will draw closer to our God who calls us his very children, who loves us so dearly.
Heb 11:1-2, 8-19