Homily for Thirty-third Sunday Year A Accountabiltiy

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Homily for Thirty-third Sunday of Year A

Reading 1: I am sure some husbands may say: “I wish my wife was like that.” At the same time, I am sure some wives may say: “I wish my husband would entrust his heart to me at all times.”

What is the key phrase that makes the wife worthy? “She fears the Lord.” What does that mean exactly? There is a natural emotion of fear, for instance when we perceive something evil or dangerous, like a poisonous snake. Then there is fear of God, one of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.  This is not fear in the human sense of emotion, but an awe and reverence of the very being of God. Who am I to gaze on the loveliness of God, to be blessed by God, to be in the very presence of God!  In fact the greatest gift we have been given is this relationship with God.

The virtuous woman of worth has this reverential respect and awe of the person of God. Her life flows from a right relationship with God and therefore a right relationship with others. She knows who she is as a daughter of God.  She knows her purpose in life is to be with God forever and to lead her children and husband to the Lord.  She has eternity in sight in all she does and knows she will be held accountable by God both for her relationship with him and her relationship with others.

Gospel: The Gospel ties in with the first reading in the area of accountability. What will be the basis for this accountability? Whether we were faithful in small matters. If so, we shall share in the Master’s joy. 

God gives us many gifts and opportunities throughout our lives. What we do with them will be the measure of the accountability.  The first two servants, like the valiant women, realize what was given them and used them in the right way for the good of others and out of due respect for the Master.  They had that reverential fear of God.  The third servant did not.  He had a fear of his master’s expectation, not the reverential fear of the valiant women.  The servant let this fear paralyze him rather than see the generosity and trust of the master in him.  His relationship with God was not a value.

The day of accountability will surely come for each of us for the graces and opportunities we have received. We can’t hide behind the excuse of fear of failure or fear of lack of self-worth.  The question we have to ask ourselves is have we been a faithful or fearful servant, a productive and creative or a foolish and inconsiderate servant?

Reading 2:  Paul reminds us of the Day of the Lord, the Day of judgement and accountability. This Day of the Lord can be seen from two different aspects. First, it can refer to the second coming of Jesus in glory to judge the living and the dead at the end of the world.  That day is known only by God and can’t be predicted. Secondly, the Day of the Lord may be understood as my own death.  Again, no one but God knows the day or hour. 

What is Paul’s point?  Be prepared! Be the children of the light, living in relationship with God in reverential awe, knowing that the Day of the Lord is a given, only the timing is unknown. Be not like the children of darkness, living in unrepentant sin, unmindful of the Day of the Lord and unprepared for its eternal consequences.  The children of the light cherish relationship with God as a precious gift and treasure. The children of darkness have chosen to walk away from relationship with God, except on their terms.


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