2 thg 10, 2016

Homily for XXVII Sunday In Ordinary Time C - (October 2, 2016)


We Are Unprofitable Servants; We Have Done What We Were Obliged To Do.”

(Lk 17:10)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We are living in a world dominated by money and power.  People controlling the world are those who have money and seize power.  Those who have money are seizing power and those who seize power are having money.

For this reason, money and power obviously become the first important target of success and happiness for most—if not all—of us here on earth.

It is undeniable that when we have money, we can do whatever we want to.  But it does not necessarily mean that we can do all we want to.  We can with money buy many beautiful houses but never can we buy a home.  We have to build a home with love and care, not with money because a home means a family, a community of human persons living together to share love and care with one another.  A home, a family is by no means a hotel where people come to sleep, to eat, to take a bath and go.  A home, a family is not a company where people come for business, for profits.  Money not only provides very little help in the building of family life but also causes families to be divided and broken.

It is evident that when we seize power, we can tell people to do as we wish so and they are more than willing to obey our decision.  When we seize power we always have around us people who are eager to wait for our order and on whom we can impose our own will whether good or bad.  However, it is honest to admit this reality that we with power, either economic or political, can only force people to satisfy our pride—sometimes very stupid pride—but never can we win their hearts.  It is also necessary to admit as a matter of fact that power does not last forever.  Struggle for power has been one of the bloodiest battles in human history.  As the result of this shallow faithfulness based on ephemeral values, we only have friends whenever we still seize power.  Those friends prove to be fake when we have fallen from powerful position.

The meaning concerns the question “what is this person or thing meant by God the Creator?”  God made the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, the animals on earth as the sign of His goodness and glory.  They really bear God’s message of love and care. 

Above all, God made us human beings in His image.  We ourselves and our neighbor together are human persons.  We are somebody to be loved, cared for and respected, not something to be sold for money.  We and our neighbor together, once sinners, were saved from death with the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  We are assigned by God to cultivate and care for the universe that He created.  We have this great honor to be the caretakers of the Lord God doing the service of all peoples and all things in His behalf. 

This meaning of our existence, and also that of the existence of all creation, should be the first priority over the mission or the use which we can get from them.  Speaking of the use of someone or something, we are concerned of how much profit, how much pleasure, how much money can be expected from them.

When we turn this “meaning-over-mission-or-use order”upside down, we cause everything to fall into chaos and confusion.  This is the beginning of all forms of suffering and evil, physical and moral.

The Gospel message teaches us to set right our viewpoint on the true meaning of our life.  In God’s creation plan, everyone, everything is given first a meaning and then a mission. 

When we acknowledge God’s absolute power over His creation, we have no reason to thirst for power.  When we realize that God is the Master of the universe, we have no right to take control of anyone or anything.  When we are sure that God has given us all His treasure of the riches of natural resources for the common good of all peoples, we are no longer allowed to cheat or rob from our neighbor their own rights to the use of God’s blessings in life.


We should instead be honest to admit the reality that after having done something good in the service of God and of His people “we are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”             

Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.

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