33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

     Every year around this time I find myself, like most of us, taking some time to prayerfully consider the many blessings in my life and challenging myself to find those areas where I can be more grateful. While this is a good start, it is just that, a start. You see while, “gratitude should always be our first response for all of the blessings in our lives. Our second response should be to live a life worthy of the blessing we have received.”[1] It’s not enough just to be grateful, we must find a way to use those blessings to be a blessing to others.

     What are you grateful for this year? I’m sure many of us have an exhaustive list, so let’s narrow it down. Of all the blessings in your life which are you most grateful for? While there are many good answers to this question, I dare say there is only one best answer. While it may not readily pop into our minds, I hope each of us at some point would admit that our greatest blessing must be our Catholic faith.

     Sure some of us have a deeper faith than others, but even those of us who only have one talent of faith have been entrusted with allot. The talent given to the three servants in today’s Gospel was a unit of measurement that amounted to about 16 ½ years worth of income, so even the servant who received only one talent received allot of money. Just as the master entrusted his servants with allot, God has made a huge principle investment in our lives and He asks us to invest in our faith and to allow that investment to grow. Sadly as Catholics, our faith is often one of the most buried and underdeveloped talents we have. The question Jesus asks us today is what are we doing with the gift of faith. Do we bury our faith in the ground on Sunday so that we can dig it up next week or do we invest our faith through the week allowing it to grow? We must invest our faith, for a dormant faith is no faith at all.

     What do you do with the gift of faith? Are you like the first two stewards in today’s Gospel who went out and invested it, or are you like the third steward who has buried you faith? My friends, while living our faith is difficult, it is simply something we cannot keep to ourselves. Much like our finances, our faith only grows when it is invested. Our faith only bears fruit when it is invested in the lives of others. So how do you invest in your faith?

     There is no doubt, investing in our Catholic faith with great risk. The call to invest in our faith, so often means that we have to let things go so that the faith can grow in our lives.  This risk can so often make us like the wicked servant who lived his life in fear. Like that servant who denied his responsibility to the talent entrusted to his care and then tried to make excuses we can live our faith in fear and never take the time to invest it. The problem is burying our faith isn’t Christianity. Christianity without courage isn’t really Christianity. We are not called to do Catholicism, we are called to be Catholic. Rather than bury our faith, we are called to run the risk of growing.  The good news is that the Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step toward Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there waiting for us with open arms.[2]

     Our faith was not given to us to be held onto, it was given to us to be invested. Like any investment we can’t just save our faith and hope that it grows on its own. Today Jesus gives you permission to take a risk and invest in your faith. He challenges you to find a way this Advent for you to take one-step out of your comfort zone to practice your faith. Perhaps this means praying with your family, or discussing the Gospel on the way home from Mass. Maybe this means challenging yourself to read the scriptures every day or come to Mass one day during the week. How are you going to invest in your faith, so that at the end of time, we will hear Jesus say to us “well done my good and faithful servant, come share your master’s joy.”

 

 

[1] Kelly, Matthew. Resisting Happiness. Erlanger: Beacon Publishing. (2016). pg 184

[2] Pope Francis. Evangelii Gaudium. Washington DC: USCCB. (2014)  pg. 1

 

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