Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
There is a popular poem and prayer that goes like this:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Our physical senses are the access to this world; and the world is certainly very attractive. We spend so much money on our bodies as if aging and the wear and tear of our bodies were stoppable, and we gather a million things in our houses as if we won’t leave them behind for somebody else to use o abuse. Yet we fully know, though, that this is not our home. God is our home, our destiny. So an act of kindness and respect to someone brings a lifetime of blessings and friendship with God and neighbor. However, a moment of neglect brings 365 days of guilt. One wasted day or a moment of indifference carries a lifetime of loss of opportunities and virtues.
At the end of time, God will ask us only about what we did and what we did not do for His people, especially to His little ones.
– God will not ask how many big houses we have built and in how many of those have we actually lived. He will ask only how many of His little ones have we given shelter.
– God will not ask how many rich and influential friends we had. He will ask only how many were we friends to and served selflessly.
– God will not ask how much money we have saved. He will ask only how have we shared our savings with other people.
– God will not ask what and how many leadership positions had we in our community. He will only ask how we served, how faithful we were to our responsibilities and how grateful we were to the people entrusted to us.
– God will not ask how many masses we attended or how many novenas we recited every week. He will only ask, after all the masses we attended, how we valued and loved His people.
– God will not ask how we have avoided lots of suffering and difficulties. He will ask only how many have we visited or have helped in their suffering, especially the voiceless and the needy.
– God will not ask how many places around the world we have visited and seen. He will only ask how many hearts have we touched and healed through forgiveness.
We cannot imitate the people that St. Paul was referring to in His letter to the Thessalonians:
They say, ‘Peace and security,’ then sudden disaster comes upon them…. and they will not escape” (1Thes 5:3).
Boastfulness and over-confidence lead us nowhere. They only bring alienation and enmity among brothers and neighbors. To the faithful and trustworthy servant, God will say,
Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy (Mt 25:21, 23).
God’s judgment will be hard on people, who, like the Pharisees and the Scribes, build a wall around the law to keep the law only for their own interests. God’s judgment will be hard on people, who are like the lazy and wicked servant, dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. They are only concerned about themselves. But God is merciful; and He gives more responsibilities to those who have more. When the Master comes, He will demand what we did with the talents that He gave us. All will be based on acts of love as Jesus loved. After Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, He said: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (Jn 13:15).
Let us be faithful, humble and trustworthy servants and followers of Jesus, and He will not abandon us. Whatever good act that we can do now, let us not leave it for tomorrow, for tomorrow has its own concerns, or tomorrow may not come at all. God rewards faithful, humble and trustworthy servants. Let us then nourish ourselves with God’s Word and the Eucharist and gain strength, and share our Master’s joy in this life and in the next.