Homily by Fr. Paul Plante
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 23, 2007
Scriptural Reference: Amos 8:4-7; 1 Tm 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13
As I often do, I took a few minutes of prayer before putting together my thoughts and notes for today’s homily.
In the Liturgy of the Hours, Daytime Prayer is rather short, a hymn, 3 psalms, a reading from the Scriptures and a final prayer. It is meant to break up the work day with a reminder of what one’s work is about if it is done for the glory of God.
On this occasion, it felt as though the scripture reading had been chosen specifically for what I was about to do. It even seemed to support the readings of this week-end’s Mass and the message I was intending to share.
The short reading was from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
“My brothers and sisters, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise. Then will the God of peace be with you.”
Indeed, that is what I should strive for in my life; that is what I should want to impart in my homilies. Hopefully, that is what you come to the Eucharist to receive – all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest and so on. And in this context, in this special way of living our lives, the God of peace will be with us!
Wherever there is a deterioration of peace, I know something evil has wormed its way – in my inner peace. To begin with between individuals and among groups, in situations and events, when all that is true, all that is honest, all that deserves respect has been set aside, is ignored, even attacked, the God of peace is also put out of the picture to some degree or other.
And so, as today’s readings warn us against ignoring or abusing those in need, cheating others for our own gain, being dishonest even in small matters, thinking we can serve both God and worldly ways, it should make us take a close look at the way we treat others, especially those in need; at the way we react to an invitation to help others; at the state of our heart when we could do something good and don’t!
Do we really strive to be people who always want to be totally true, respectful, honest, never cheating, stealing, harming others in any way, responsible with our talents, money and possessions so as to bring relief whenever we can!
A teacher was telling me recently as to how shocked she was not just at some of the evil things certain students did, but how adamantly they refused to accept that there was anything wrong with such behavior.
Let us all look at our lives, at our hearts. Is everything we find there directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous and worthy of praise?
Chances are that none of us has achieved the goal. I have not, but it is what I want.
Together, may we support one another in this wonderful way of life. So that the God of Peace may be with us!