August 7, 2016

A HOMILY FOR THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” –  8/7/16  –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!    Peace and goodness to you this day!

Nobody likes to get caught off guard.  We like to be ready and be prepared, for any situation!  Nobody likes it when the teacher gives a pop quiz, and those who aren’t prepared dislike it the most.  Nobody likes to get caught by their coach, cutting corners, or not doing what the coach had asked you to do.  Nobody likes it when an employer catches you doing personal business at work, or sending personal e-mails or texts, or resting your eyes for just a minute.  When we caught, we get embarrassed.  We know that we have let those in authority over us, down and damaged our reputation with them.  It is not a fun part of life!

Just try to imagine then, what it is going to be like when Jesus, Our Master, returns, on a day that “no one knows and that we least expect”.  If ever there’s going to be a day when we are going to want to be ready, to be prepared, it is going to be that day!  What will you be doing?  Will you be asleep?  Will you be at work or school? Wouldn’t it be the best if you were at church?  What will you be saying, at that moment?  What will you be doing?  What will you be watching on TV or the computer?  What will you be thinking about, when everything changes forever?  Will you be ready?  One time, a reporter asked Pope John XXIII, who was canonized last year, and is now St. John XXIII, “What should we be doing when Jesus comes again?”  St. John XXIII replied, “Look busy!”

The late Pope and now Saint, reminds us that there is no time to waste.  The Kingdom of God is at hand!  Undoubtedly St. John XXIII would agree whole-heartedly with the message from our Gospel today, about the good and faithful servant versus the foolish one.  This parable reminds us to always be attentive and to stay ever-watching for Jesus’ return.  Whatever we are doing when Jesus returns, we want Him to be proud of us and find us ready.  We do want to be “busy”.  This Gospel text and this parable reminds us that we have a lot of work to do.  Today the Kingdom of God has been entrusted to us.  This is NOT time to take a break.  This is NOT time to relax and let somebody else worry about it.  This is NOT time to get lazy.  This is our time.  This is our opportunity to accept the mission that God has entrusted to us, and to get the job done.

Think for just a minute what has been entrusted to us!  Think about how much has been entrusted to us!  Jesus started our Church and then He gave the keys to St. Peter and the other Apostles.  And today those keys, those responsibilities, are given to us! Being Church today, is better than having the keys to brand new Ferrari.  And it’s going to last a lot longer too!  We are given the chance every day to make a reality, that Kingdom that Jesus talked about two-thousand years ago.  And we’re doing it!  Souls are being saved.  Hearts are being changed.  Lives are being converted.  Miracles are happening.  And God is doing these amazing things through us, and in us.  We are doing God’s work every day.  Sometimes we don’t even know it!  By a prayer, by a kind gesture, by a listening ear, by an act of mercy, in so many different ways, we can be busy for our Lord.  And we’ve got to stay busy.  We can’t let up.  Much has been entrusted to us AND much will be expected of us!

On the day that Jesus returns, there will be many who will say “We didn’t know!  We didn’t know!”  We, of course, are NOT going to be able to use that excuse.  We know He’s coming back.  It might be tonight.  It might be next week.  It might be five years from now.  It might be five thousand years from now.  But it is going to happen.

Let’s be ready, all of us!  And you know how we stay ready?  We do it by self-discipline.  We control ourselves.  We control our appetites.  We control our desires.  We control our words.  We control our thoughts.  We control our actions.  That’s how we stay ready!  That’s how we build the Kingdom of God every day!  Anybody can be self-indulgent.  It is a whole lot easier and it looks like more fun.  But how do you want to found by Jesus when He returns?  You want to be self-disciplined?  Or do you want to be self-indulgent?  Good and faithful stewards are self-disciplined.  It will not go well for those who are self-indulgent.  It would not be a good time to get caught off guard!

Let us be ready!  Let us be prepared!  Let us be busy living the kind of life that He taught us!

+  May God bless us today,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                                                       AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…              Pray for us !!!