Twenty-Sixth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Oct 3, 2018



30 September 2018


The summer after my first year in college I lived in St. Paul

I was fortunate to find a really good paying job working for United Van Lines.

Well, the truth is that I didn’t find this job.

An extended family adopted me.   

They found me the job, found me a place to live, and gave me a 55 Ford to drive.

I’d fallen into the butter tub.

I’d done nothing to deserve their care for me

and their kindness to me.

At the end of the summer, I returned the furniture they’d lent me and on the last day,

returned the car to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.

I thanked them and drove away back to St. John’s.

A few weeks later I received a letter from one of grandpa and grandma’s daughters.

In part she said, “Ma and Pa didn’t want me to tell you this but I had to.

You have to know they were very hurt by the way you returned the car to them.

That car, for as old as it was, was Pa’s pride and joy and he trusted it to you.

You didn’t even wash it before you returned it.

You didn’t even fill it with gas or have the oil changed.

You just used it.

It was a gift to you for the summer,

But it was more than a gift, it was a gift that should have helped you grow up.”

I wrote back that I was sorry, but that I didn’t know the stakes.

And she wrote back.  “I don’t believe you.

You didn’t know the stakes because you didn’t want to know them.

It was easier for you, if you didn’t know them.

My parents are better people than I am.

They’ve already forgiven you.

I think the jury is still out on whether you should be forgiven.”

Jesus wants us to know that for all the gifts we’ve been given,

all the very concrete gifts–hands, feet, eyes, talents and whatever,

there are high stakes for our use of these gifts.

They are more than gifts, they are trusts.

We can never claim we didn’t know the stakes.

We can only claim it was easier if we didn’t know them.

Question of the week: How will I use the gifts I’ve been given this week?