Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25: 14-30
Saint John Baptist de LaSalle November 19, 2023
Just recently I noticed how often I turn on my television; it is usually the first thing that I do right after I get out of bed. I was only seven years old when my grandfather, my mother’s father, bought the first television in our part of town. So, that means that I have been watching television almost daily for the past 70 years. There were always large numbers of people, gathered every evening at my grandfather’s house, trying to watch whatever the tiny twelve-inch screen was showing. Most of the television shows tried to present an ideal type of family life that they believed people could obtain while at the same time promoting comedy, and as television moved on, they continued to draw laughs from these sitcoms.
We all loved, “I Love Lucy,” and “Father Knows Best.” The hillbillies moved to Beverly Hills, while a corporate lawyer and his socialite wife went to live in Hooterville. A witch named Samantha became a suburban housewife. The creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky family that lived next door was named Addams. In their lighthearted way, these comedies portray a fundamental truth about what it means to be human, to be a part of a family, and to love one another. This is what Jesus said God wants for us: “To live a life of joy to the fullest.”
All of this is helpful when we ask ourselves the question that the Scriptures present in speaking about an industrious wife and the careful stewardship of treasure. What are we doing, or what have we done, with our joy filled life? Do our lives build up the Kingdom of God? Or, what will God want when we are asked to give an account for our lives? Ask yourself, how big is your world of care and concern? How deeply involved are you in the lives of your loved ones? Do you have loved ones? Granted, most of our time is spent trying to make money, driving somewhere, cleaning, or cooking something up, waiting in school pick up lines, and solving problems. This is true for almost everyone who is simply trying to live life. However, when we start to talk about the Kingdom of God, then the focus shifts from what we do, to why we do it, or perhaps better said, for whom are we doing what we are doing?
If you want to know how fruitful your life is in the eyes of heaven, then examine your relationships. Those whom you love and serve is what makes your life as great as it can be. These relationships in our life, those we enjoy and those we dislike keep us on the move. If running ragged is keeping you in your relationships, and in the lives of those you love, then you are fruitful. However, if running ragged means running from the ones whom you love, then something is not right. It can happen to anyone. We begin our life running for a purpose, we run for the people we love. Yet sadly, for some, we look up one day and discover those faces are far behind us, we have just been running.
You have all heard the old saying, “you can’t take it with you,” and it remains quite true when we speak about the things we own, for they indeed will pass away. Another saying, “you've got nothing else to take with you,” this is also true, but it is referring to the person we become, each time that we love and serve others. The Scriptures insist that our worlds of care and concern must be larger than those who can return our love. God does not judge us by how much we have, but by what we do with what we have. Remember, the world of the highly praised women in the Book of Proverbs: “She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.” Her value is not in her beauty, or even in the love she has for her family and friends. Her value is in what she does with what has been given her, she provides food and clothing and reaches out to the poor and needy, Her goodness is not about ‘how much’ she has, nor about how others may judge her. Her goodness, is about taking what she has, even if it seems very little, and being kind and generous to those around her.
What is most pleasing to God is that we live our life to the fullest.