Thirty First Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Nov 7, 2017


5 November 2017


I would like to think that today’s gospel is not about me.

I would like to think that today’s gospel is pointed directly at someone else.

But of course it is about me.

And that makes me uncomfortable and it makes me mad.


It makes me uncomfortable because I am sure that I have been guilty

of some of the deficiencies the Matthean author has Jesus point out.

It makes me mad because I never really wanted this job in the first place.

It’s really Jesus’ fault for getting me into this.

I have a friend who persists in telling me the things I don’t want to hear–

about me, about the things I do.

But I continue to listen to him, let him say the things I don’t want to hear,

because for as painful as it some times is, I know it is ultimately good for my soul.

That the most dangerous thing for my soul,

is to remove myself, to protect myself by my relationships,


and my activities from all scrutiny, from all calls to responsibility.

That’s where this gospel applies not just to me, but to everyone here.

We all try to insulate ourselves from reproach.

We use our work to protect us from other demands,

We choose our friends carefully from among those who agree with

our way of thinking, ou


r way of looking at the world.

We choose to do those things that already fit in our comfort zone.

What Jesus calls me to do in today’s gospel,

and what he calls everyone here to do,

is to set out like a servant, who doesn’t do the things or be with the people,

who make him or her comfortable,

but who sets out and does the uncomfortable.

If there is one call to all of us here today,

It is to listen to someone this week, who challenges our moral certitude.

It is to do some thing dangerous to our ego this week.

It is to do some hidden thing which reminds us we are not god,

but god’s servant.