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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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Last Friday night in a neighboring parish to ours (St. Patrick’s) there was a vigil of prayer and a Mass for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Over the years so many people from our parish have taken up this calling for their lives to serve in the diocesan and religious priesthood as well as the orders of religious priesthood and  religious brothers and nuns. In the world of today we seem to forget about Praying to the lord  that he will send labourers into his harvest. We also seem to forget that we should be a people of prayer. Last Sunday we heard in the second reading that we are gods building the Church so what are we doing in order to build up the Church where we are? Also earlier in the week on Wednesday evening around 300 people gathered together in our parish hall to discuss the future of our Parish. This I hear was a hard kind of meeting which was to take the parishioners views on what should be done regarding a number of issues around the buildings etc and how best to deal with the parish debt. Again while the pennies and pounds are important we need to remember that the primary thing about religion is that it’s all about people young and old and all the in-betweens and their relationship with God. If we remember that it is the people  that means you and me who are gods building the Church then we won’t go far wrong.

Our reading from the Gospel for this weekend Matthew 25:14-30 is about the servant and his one talent. The parable speaks first of the Master’s trust in his servants. While he goes away he leaves them with his money to use as they think best. While there were no strings attached, this was obviously a test to see if the Master’s workers would be industrious and reliable in their use of the money entrusted to them. The master rewards those who are industrious and faithful and he punishes those who sit by idly and who do nothing with his money.

The essence of the parable seems to lie in the servants’ conception of responsibility. Each servant entrusted with the master’s money was faithful up to a certain point. The servant who buried the master’s money was irresponsible. One can bury seeds in the ground and expect them to become productive because they obey natural laws. Coins, however, do not obey natural laws. They obey economic laws and become productive in circulation. The master expected his servants to be productive in the use of his money. If we stop and substitute the money aspect of the parable with the word faith then we get to what the parable is really about and it tells us that faith is a real and wonderful gift from God. It is something that comes entirely unbidden; as in the parable the servants are given no clue in advance what the master is about to do. Faith is also given to us according to our ability to deal with it; each in proportion to his ability, as it says in the parable. But the most important aspect of the Parable is that the Master will eventually return and the big question is will we be ready?

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