Sunday Homily, 19th November - Fr Paul Rowse, OP
There are two kinds of servants in our parable: those who believe in their Master and the one who doesn’t. Burying riches is what people did when they were expecting an invasion. Fear motivated the inhabitants of cities to hide their valuables and heirlooms, so that strangers wouldn’t be able to get at them. Fear led to the hoarding; hiding comes from hopelessness. Perhaps the servant who hid his master’s money was afraid of the money itself, or the responsibility it meant, or the master himself. Certainly, he expects trouble: there will be failure abroad and reprisal at home.
We want to be the kind of people who believe in Christ, who trust him: that means believing the victory is his and that he will make us share in it. There are plenty of people who don’t believe. Each one has their own reason: many such reasons coalesce in the judgment that there’s little direct evidence for God or his ongoing action. This trouble is precisely what the parable is addressing: we want to keep up faith in God even when there are few reasons to do so.
The loss which you’ve experienced in the past year is so sad. No doubt, you’re still missing them. There are things you’ll have gone to share, say, or do with them, but they’re not here in the same way as before. Each time that happens, the loss can seem new all over again. Christmas might be hard this year. We are with you and we are here for you. We’re so glad you’ve come today to pray with us in the risen Lord.
There were good times you had with them. They were good to you. There are reasons why you loved them. No one is all bad. Where did that goodness come from? Who put it in them to show it to you? Memories come back about times you had together. Let happy memories come back now; gratitude will soon follow, and so will faith.
All good things come from God. Our human life was designed around the goodness and love we find in each other. God means for us to be good and loving like he is. Hold on to that goodness and love, make good use of it in your daily life, and you’re on your way to the kind of trust in God which gives life to the dead. His Son made it through death to live in the resurrection. He it is who promises us the same if we keep faith in him, for each others’ sake.
May they rest in peace.