Homily Ė Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

We live in the age of all you can eat buffets, free refills, unlimited miles on rental cars, unlimited night and weekend minutes, 0% or 2.9% financing. We can have what we want, and we can have it now. We donít need to save or plan. Charge it.
We live in the age of an age of plenty. This makes it difficult for us to understand a time when food wasnít so plentiful. Our lives are filled with abundance and if we are not careful we develop a casual attitude towards Godís blessings in our lives. We assume it will always be there. We start to believe that our good fortune is the result of how hard we work, our good health on how hard we work out. It appears our good welfare depends on us and not on God. That, my friends, is the lie that will lead us straight to hell. Everything, everything depends on God.
You might say, well Fr. Todd, everyone knows that. The devil canít trick us into saying that. My response: Probably not, but the devil isnít that dumb to try in such an obvious way. He is intelligent and subtle. He might not trick us into saying it but I bet he can trick us into living it. How? Lets look at Jesusí example in the Gospel and see how we measure up.
1. The first thing he did was give thanks for what he had. How many of us when faced with a need first give thanks for what we do have? I am ashamed to say I donít but I am working on it. I often worry first about what I donít have. I suspect I am not alone. We need to become people whose first response is thanksgiving for what we have. We must thank God at all times in our lives and not just when we need something, or after we receive something if we are lucky enough to even remember it then.
2. He gives first to others. How many of us give to charity as our first priority with the blessings we have been given? Or do we wait to see what is left over and give out of that. In the first reading the first fruits are given to the Lord. The firstborn son was consecrated to the Lord. The first born calf or kid were given to the Lord. The first fruits of our labor should go to the Lord as well. Share first to the Lord.
3. He gathered what was left so nothing was wasted. How wasteful are we? How much food do we throw away each week? How much goes bad in our refrigerators? How often do we get doggie bags when we eat our so food isnít thrown away? Do we put more on our plates than we can eat? Do we really use all those cell phone minutes or can we go one plan lower and donate the difference to charity? Can we be better stewards of what we have. I think we would all agree we can and we should.
The people in the Gospel believed in Christ and followed him because he fed them and met their material needs. The were in it for what they could get. When he tried to feed them spiritually many left and refused to believe. We will see that in the readings in a few weeks. They missed the most important part.
If we are casual and careless with the material blessings God gives us we will become casual and careless with the spiritual blessings he gives us and we too will miss the most important part; the source and summit of Christian life.
Commit yourselves to being a good steward of what God has given you.
1. Give thanks for what you have. Today! Tomorrow and Everyday.
2. Share first to the Lord
3. Finally, do not waste a crumb of what God has given you.


3 Responses to “”

  1. Denise Says:

    Father Todd, I like this just the way it is. Looks like you are “branded” as the NFP spokesman!
    I like the way you broke down what happened into the action Jesus took 1,2,3.
    Two other homilies I heard (between vigil Mass and AM Mass) took two other tacks, also fruitful.
    One discussed the incident as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist, while another talked about the little boy and his willingness to share what he had. I enjoyed them all. Ah! the richness of scripture.
    Still remembering you in my prayer, btw!

  2. Angela Says:

    Oh Father Todd, and I DO give thanks for you! But I would have loved to hear more about NFP and contraceptions. We need more of that at every homily not just one! Thanks Father! Blessings and PRAYERS!

  3. Eric C. Bales Says:

    Fortunately Fr. Todd has a lot of year (and homilies) ahead of him. I’m confident we’ll see various aspects of the NFP/Contraception subject visited.

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