We are a people of light
Father Ed Witt, SJ
Homily from the Televised Mass, NewsCenter1
Thiry-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 19, 2023
I’m an historian and I pay close attention also to current events. When I saw these words from the second reading, it really struck a chord. The words are, “when people are saying peace and security, then suddenly disaster comes upon them.”
December 7th was one such occasion, Pearl Harbor. The Chicago Tribune predicted the Japanese could never cross the Pacific Ocean and attack Pearl Harbor. 9/11, the United States was caught by surprise in spite of all of our electronic intelligence and all the signals that were flashing red. And recently, southern Israel was taken by surprise by Hamas. They had relied on the peace and security that was promised to them by their government, and it failed.
Perhaps we in our own lives have had sudden disasters, sudden setbacks as in the second reading. But we are told we are not people of darkness, we are people of light, and we should be prepared and ready. And what are we to be prepared for? Well, the Gospel tells us we are being prepared to return to the Lord no matter how long it takes.
In the meantime, he’s given each of us great responsibilities depending on our life situation. Many of you out there perhaps are homebound. Can’t come to church or are limited in what you can do. And yet you can do something. All of us have been given great responsibilities, whether it’s like the woman in the first reading who is a wife and a woman who had great care for her family. Also, notice that her care extended beyond her family to the poor in the city. So, we can reach out.
We have been given many talents symbolizing many things – our natural abilities, our spiritual gifts, our financial gifts and certainly we can continue to share those with the diocese. This last weekend was the Diocesan Annual Appeal. One way to prepare for the return of the Lord is to show generosity in sharing our financial gifts.
Whatever particular gift you have we are reminded our life on earth is short. It will come to an end and in the meantime, we are busy and active like the woman in the first reading and like the two industrious servants in the Gospel.
Take a few moments to reflect on your own life. How do you meet the responsibilities of being a Christian? Being light instead of darkness. How do you prepare to receive the Lord every day and every moment of your life? Where have I pulled back like the lazy servant, afraid and burying the one talent.