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Homily for twenty-fifth Sunday C

16 Sep 2016, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

dishonest-stewardHow eye-catching is our first reading this morning from the prophet Amos! Amos, a mere shepherd from Judah, was called by God to minister in Israel’s northern kingdom, to speak in the name of God against the social injustices of the time. It was a time the poor of the society were marginalized and cheated even though the Country enjoyed material prosperity. The rich were becoming richer while the poor were becoming poorer. The people cheated in businesses by adjusting their scales and balances; Amos rose and fearlessly condemned those injustices in the name of God.

After thousands of years, there is still no significant change in our world regarding this evil; there are still injustices and inequalities in the world. The quest for material wealth has provoked all kinds of atrocities, wickedness, and living so many floundering in poverty. It is my prayer this morning that we face not the justice of God but his mercy.

St. Paul admonished this morning in our second reading; My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverence lives in peace and in quiet. This is undoubtedly a mild way of calling us to learn to be as smart as the dishonest servant in our gospel parable, certainly not to be smart in evil but in good.

Jesus told his disciples a parable of a rich man who had a steward, denounced and wasteful with his master’s property. The rich man demanded an account of stewardship from his servant, who was fired for his dishonesty. The servant said to himself, Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that there will be some to welcome me into their homes when I am dismissed from office. The servant knew what to do, and he smartly executed it. He called his master’s debtors one by one and enquired of them about what they owed, and he intelligently reduced their debts without his master’s consent to secure his own future. He was indeed a rascal, and his action was fraudulent.

His master, however, praised the smartness of his dishonest servant, not in approval of his evil deeds but of that thought in him to secure a future for himself. He secured his future by dealing well with his own kind, which explains why he said the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than the children of light. If the children of this world are clever enough to deal well with each other, then much more is expected from us, the children of his kingdom. We are not called to practice injustices and push each other deeper into a socio-economic and spiritual dilemma, but to love.

If the children of this world are clever enough to treat their own kind well, then we as Christians should strive to eliminate all forms of bitterness, hatred, betrayal, and injustices in our lives.

unjust servantThe dishonest servant used his master’s property or wealth to secure his future. We should do the same; we got a rich heavenly Father with all his wealth and glory available to us, secure your eternal life with them.

St. Paul tells us in his second letter to Ephesians 2:4 that God is rich in mercy and his love is great. On his part, John reminds us that For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Just as the rich man in our gospel parable entrusted his property to his servant, so also the Father gave us his Son. Like the servant, therefore, let us ask, what am I to do? Let us secure our eternal life with our own Father’s wealth of love and mercy.