Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Nov 22, 2017



19 NOVEMBER 2017



Several years ago I drove to my parent’s home in Hatley to take them out to dinner.


Now, my parents were at that age, where they liked to go for the early bird specials.

We left for the restaurant plenty early;

as a matter of fact too early.  It wasn’t even open yet.

Right next door to the restaurant, however,  was a casino.

My parents eagerly suggested we go in to pass the time.

I had never been in one of these northern Wisconsin casinos.

Amazing places. It was packed.

I turned to my father and said:

“Why would all of these people come here?

They have to know the odds are stacked against them.  You never really win.”

My father said: “They’re all looking for the chance of a lifetime.”

“By why?” I asked.

My father ever practical and succinct said:

“Because They’re not satisfied with what they have.  Are any of us?”

Today’s gospel is a great story–a Cinderella story.

Three nobodies are given the chance of a lifetime.

One talent was worth about 3 years of hard labor in biblical times.

They are chosen, if not exactly at random, certainly by surprise.


Life couldn’t get much better.  –Well except for one of them–and that’s the rub.

The third servant does nothing wrong, but is punished.

Apparently, being “good and faithful” does not mean being careful.

It means “not being satisfied with what you have been given.”

Which is a twist on thenormal biblical injunctions against greed, right?

So what’s the point?

I think there are two points.

1.  We’re pretty complex beings and that we struggle all our lives to harness

kind of normal impulses.

For example, if we’re honest at all, we know we’re a bit greedy.

We know, as my father says, “that we’re not satisfied with what we’ve been given.”

But what do we do with our sense of greed?

Maybe the point is not to bury and stifle our sense of greed

–but to make something good and positive of it.

Could we possibly become greedy for the things of God?

2.  When we are surprised by the good life.  When it comes to us–

As it certainly has in this country.

Just what is our stance toward what we’ve been given.

Are we careful with it–or are we generous with it?