The following is by Father Valentine Young, OFM, a faithful Catholic priest who died on 17 January 2020. It was delivered sometime between 2013 and 2020. To learn more about Father Valentine, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
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—Taken from the Saint Isaac Jogues Illuminated Missal, Gradual, and Lectionary.
HE TWO MAIN READINGS for today—that is, the First Reading and the Gospel Reading—don’t impress me as being very “politically correct” in this day and age. Now I certainly do not intend talk politics in my homily; I’m just telling you the first impression that I got from my first reading of these two selections. First of all, the Gospel seems to me to praise the man who had already been successful by pointing out that he had now become even more successful. It doesn’t seem to me that our modern world wants to do that. It seems our modern—dare I say “politically correct” world—almost wants to punish the person who has been successful by putting more taxes and restrictions on him. Now I know this could be interpreted as very “political,” and I am sorry if it is. I don’t want it to be. I can’t remember where it was, but it happened years ago when I was driving to Nebraska. I spotted a bill-board which said: 1
Nowhere in the Bible does it say:
“Those who work are obligated to
support those who refuse to work.”
Is it political on my part to say that this is the message Jesus is trying to tell us in today’s Gospel parable? I’m going to repeat that, in case some of you might want to remember it. “Nowhere in the Bible does it say: Those who work are obligated to support those who refuse to work.”
The First Reading: Now, just how “politically correct” do you think today’s First Reading is? That description of the worthy wife; do you think this description would go over well today? The only women I have ever seen spinning wool were Navaho women who would spin yarn from the fleece of sheep in preparation for the making of Navaho rugs. They were pretty good at it. Admittedly, this description of a good and faithful wife is from a past and by-gone culture. If the author were writing today, he would probably have described a good and faithful stay-at-home mom, like my mother was. I heard her say she would take in ironing and washing before she would go out for a job. (My father died when I was eight, leaving my mother with six children, still to be raised.)
The General Theme: Certainly the general theme of the Scripture readings for today is that we all use the talents we have—in whatever vocation God has called us. We are all equal in the eyes of God, even though we are all not the same. I hope no one sees that as a contradictory statement, because it isn’t. We are all equally loved by God, even though we do not have the same talents or calling. God has a special task and calling for each and every one of us.
Conclusion: In the Second Reading, Saint Paul is still writing to the Thessalonians about the possible end times approaching. Those people back then had to be ready by using their talents and doing what God wanted them to do. The same is true for us. We just have to make sure we have something to show for the time and talents that we have had and spent while on this earth! +
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 The Second Epistle of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians says: Nam et cum essemus apud vos, hoc denuntiabamus vobis: quoniam si quis non vult operari, nec manducet. — “The charge we gave you on our visit was that the man who refuses to work must be left to starve.”