Being good administrators

Homily for the readings of Sept. 19, XXV Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C
Posted late due to a hectic weekend…

God wills that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth – everyone, without exception or distinction of class, race or language.

God does not want this to happen without our participation. He wants us to be active collaborators in the work of redemption. The first step, as St Paul explains in the second reading, is to pray. Pray for the poor and suffering, that they will be find the help and consolation they need. Pray as well as for the rich and powerful people who govern the world and run the economy, that they may use their authority and resources honestly for the good of society.

But as Jesus implies in the Gospel today, we all have resources at our disposition that we administrate, for better or worse. We have tangible resources, like our money and other material possessions, and human and spiritual goods: our talents, our knowledge, our spiritual gifts, etc. All of these things come to us from God, albeit with more or less collaboration on our part. We need to use them as God intended.

There is a real danger that we can make these good things into goals in themselves. Due to the effects of original sin, we all tend in greater or lesser degree to pride, greed, sensuality, egoism, and so forth. This impedes us from using our talents according to God’s plan. If we are not careful, we become slaves of our passions and of material prosperity, instead of servants of God. In that case, we would become like the dishonest merchants in the first reading today, who cheat and steal from others less fortunate than themselves in order to increase their own wealth.

That is not what God has given us these gifts for. He intended us to use our talents wisely, not only for our own well being, but also to help others materially and spiritually, with the ultimate goal of getting as many people to heaven as possible. Helping those in need is already a part of the spirit of this parish; this community responds to the needs of others and of the parish itself with generosity. Still, we can’t take it for granted. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to see each day how God is inviting us to use the material and spiritual gifts we have received for the good of the people around us, of the community and of the Church.

This weekend in the archdiocese of New York, we will have a special opportunity: the annual appeal for funds to support the seminary. We all know how much the Church needs priests, to be “preachers and apostles” like St Paul, to help bring God’s salvation to all people. We also understand that their years of studies and training require funding. So, let’s listen to the Holy Spirit with open hearts and give generously to the collection for the seminary, according to our means.


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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