Homily on the readings for Oct. 20, Wednesday of the XXIX week in Ordinary Time, year II
The salvation won for us by Jesus Christ is intended for every human being, regardless of any ancestral, social, ethnic, or biological distinction. We can easily take this for granted, but we have to remember that at the very beginning of Christianity it was assumed that Jesus came only for the Jews. The truth of the universal call to salvation in Christ was revealed in a special (though not exclusive) way to St Paul. He was keenly aware that the gift of God’s grace was entrusted to him, not just for himself, but that he might share it and make it known to Gentiles – the whole non-Jewish world. It was a responsibility that he took so seriously, he traveled all throughout the Roman empire. He refers to himself as steward of God’s grace, and indeed he was a “faithful and prudent steward” as the Lord Jesus describes in the parable found in today’s Gospel reading, and he received a great reward in heaven.
We are the heirs of the legacy of St Paul and the other apostles. The treasure of the Faith has come down to us, not only intact, but enriched by the experiences and reflections of generations of saints, theologians, and countless Christians, shepherded by the Vicar of Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit. If much was given to St Paul and the first generations of Christians, even more has been given to us, and “more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Today, Christ challenges us to examine our own stewardship. Are we doing all we can to hand on this tremendous spiritual and cultural patrimony to future generations? Is there any way that we, in our own particular life circumstances and with our own talents, can do more?
Although this is truly a grave responsibility, we should not be intimidated or overwhelmed. We are only stewards; we are guaranteed success if we work faithfully with our one true Master. If we ever feel discouraged in our efforts, we can pray with today’s psalm: “God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and courage is the Lord… Give thanks to the Lord, acclaim his name”.