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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Come Share Your Master's Joy!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Nov. 19, 2017
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Tucson, AZ

“For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matt 25:29)

In today’s Gospel passage this Sunday we reflect on our responsibility as Catholics. Our Lord speaks a parable about a man who goes on a journey and entrusts everything he has to his servants. 

The key message of this story is not the different amounts that each of the three servants received, but the message is what they did with the amount they did receive.
When the master returns, he praises two of the servants because they used his money wisely. To both of these servants he says, “Come share your master’s joy.” 

Yet, the third servant did not make any interest on what he had been given. He simply dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money. When his master returns the servant even admits that he did not act responsibly. The servant knew that his master was a demanding person and expected some return, but he failed to follow his master’s orders.
Therefore he would not share in his master’s joy. Our Lord says of this servant who did not follow his master’s orders that “this useless servant [is to be thrown] into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

My brothers and sisters, today’s Gospel message calls us to acknowledge whether or not we are practicing our faith as God is asking of us. Each one of us is given the gift of grace in our baptism. God is love, and the outpouring of His love-gift of grace seeks a return of love from us. We can bury this grace or we can allow this grace to bear perfect fruit, love that will last. We can allow God’s grace to grow within us by loving God and living pure and righteous lives or we can reject His gift of grace within us by living in sin without seeking repentance and conversion of heart.

As Catholics we have a great responsibility because we have been given the teachings of our Church. These teachings are given to us to grow in God’s grace. Do we live the teachings of our faith in love and sincerity? Are we good and faithful servants by living our marriage vows?

Do we follow our Church teachings on areas that our society denies such as our Church’s teachings on contraception? Are we reading the Bible and the Catechism? Do we come to Mass regularly? Do we come to confession? Are we taking advantage of the opportunities God gives us to do good? The truth is how can we expect Our Lord to give us great responsibilities in heaven if we do not strive to live in God’s grace today?

In fact, let us think about that third servant in today’s Gospel. (Matt. 25:14-30) What did he do after he buried the talent? He probably went off his merry way without any thought of his master or his master’s return! Aren't there people nowadays who live their life like that, as if there is no end time?

Yet, in today’s second reading (1Thes 5:1-6), Saint Paul warns us strictly about living as if there is no end time. Saint Paul reminds us that we must not live as children of the night. No. We are children of the day. Therefore, Saint Paul says, “Let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober” because the “the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.”

My brothers and sisters, let us take to heart today’s Gospel message.
Fr John Paul Shea
This current world is ending soon and God will take an accounting of each one of us as to how we have used the life He has given to us. 

If we live in God’s grace by offering our heart to God each day for His glory then we will bear eternal fruit. Let us therefore live in the grace we have received by following Our Lord’s commandments in love and truth so that when we meet Jesus face to face at the end of our lives He will say to each one of us “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.” Amen.

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