Homily: Sept 21, 2014

A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-CYCLE”A” -9/21/14 – SMG

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

I suppose that every job comes with some benefits.  If nothing else, having a job and getting a paycheck to support yourself and your family, is some benefit.  But some jobs come with some really awesome benefits.  When I was a kid, our next door neighbor had this great job with GM, and every year, he got to walk into our local Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, or Cadillac dealer, and pick out any new car he wanted.  Every year!  When I was a teenager, I thought that was about the coolest perk that any job in the whole world could possibly have.  As I got older, you know, you learn that some people get all kinds of time off from work.  Teachers get summers off.  Firemen work a couple days and are off a couple days.  There are some business people who get multiple weeks of vacation every year.  That time off can sound pretty good to all of us.  And when you don’t get a lot of time off work, that time off can sound pretty nice.  And then, of course, some people get bonuses every year from their employers.  I knew a family once where the Dad worked for an airline, and they got to fly all over the world for free, as a bonus.  That’d be  nice.  I knew a guy who worked at Nabisco, and got free Oreos whenever he wanted.  That was his bonus. And then, there’s the people who get big, bonus checks, from their employers, when they are doing well.  It would be kinda cool to get paid money, that you didn’t expect to get.  Sometimes people ask me about the perks and benefits of being a priest.  We don’t get bonuses, but the retirement plan is out of this world.

Today Jesus tells us a parable about some workers who get the ultimate bonus.  They work for about an hour, and they get paid for a full-day’s work!  And man, we can only imagine how happy those folks were.  And they thought that they were going to be unemployed all day.  Well, I guess they were unemployed all day, but still got paid as though they had worked the full day.  And then of course, there are their co-workers who worked all day, who ARE NOT happy.  In fact, they are downright  angry at their employer for NOT giving them more money, because, after all, they have worked all day.  They are upset because they thought they were getting more.  They had agreed upon the usual wage for the day’s work.  And everything was fine until they saw their co-workers who had worked only an hour, getting paid the same as themselves.  They are jealous.  They haven’t been cheated or treated unfairly.  They just don’t receive the same amount of employer’s generosity, as some of the other did.

And this is the key to understanding this parable: we are ALL beneficiaries of God’s great love and goodness!  We have all received more than we deserve.  And we have an incredibly generous God Who sent His only Son to die on that Cross for all of us.  Even if we don’t receive the same as everybody else, even if it looks like we have been treated unjustly by God, the reality is that God has already been enormously generous with all of us.  God gives us what we need.  Many times, He gives us more than what we need.  But our jealousy can get us into a lot of trouble.  Most especially, we have to be very careful about jealousy of worldly things that don’t last forever.

I like to call this, Hamilton County disease.  Everybody from Zionsville, just sighed a huge breath of relief!  We could also call it Boone County disease.  We all live in a very comfortable, very well-to-to, area of, not only Indiana, but of our entire nation.  We see lots of nice houses, and cars, and clothes, and electronics, and everything else.  And we see these things every day!  It is so very easy for us to think that we all need those things.  None of those things will make us happy OR get us to Heaven.  We can’t be jealous, and certainly not of things!

The truth is that God has blessed all of us!  We can’t deny that.  We each have blessings that others people could and probably are, jealous of!  Let us be happy with our own blessings.  Let us always remember to be grateful for our blessings.  And may we do our best to root out all jealousy and envy from our hearts!

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

St. Maria Goretti…                                                    Pray for us!!!