Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (6 & 7/8/22)

posted 15 Aug 2022, 02:41 by Parish Office

Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (6 & 7/8/22)

Back at the very beginning of my priestly formation I spent a year at the seminary in Valladolid in Spain, and there was one fellow seminarian who was always the first downstairs to the chapel in the morning. But, one day, when I came down to the chapel, he wasn’t there. And he wasn’t there in time for mediation. Neither did he arrive for Morning Prayer. And when we went for breakfast, he wasn’t waiting outside to go in either. Then, about half-way through breakfast, he arrived, in an utterly foul mood. What had happened, was that he had been locked out of the seminary. We had a system that when you went out in the evening, you signed your name on the list on the front door, and when you returned you crossed it off. Then whoever was last to return would cross his name off the list and lock and bolt the main door, from the inside. Somehow, someone had locked the front door whilst one person was still in town. Nobody admitted to being the guilty culprit. (pause) Well don’t look at me like that! I didn’t do it. To this day, I have no idea who it was.

Today in the Gospel Our Lord tells us to be ready for the master when he returns, like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast. It’s no good if the servants have given up, locked the door and gone to bed. And we can’t be like the person in the Gospel two weeks ago, saying to the Lord, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you now”. That would be a dereliction of duty.

And part of being ready, is also to act responsibly. The next example Our Lord gives is that, just because the master is taking his time, it’s no good for the servant to abuse his position, trash his master’s property and make other people’s lives difficult. We can perhaps think of corruption in parts of society – you sometimes hear about corruption in the police in parts of Asia, or government officials in Africa that live off, and only do any work, if they are bribed first. But we could find other examples closer to home as well. Clearly, that shouldn’t be happening. But we also have to look to ourselves, our own hearts, as well. When Christ returns as judge, he will judge each of us for our own sins; what other people have done will be largely irrelevant.