Wednesday October 19, 2005 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Romans 6:12-18) Gospel (St. Luke 12:39-48)
Our Lord tells us in the Gospel reading today that much will be required of a person to whom much has been entrusted and even more will be required of those to whom more has been entrusted. Then when we listen to the words of Saint Paul in the first reading, he tells us that we have been freed from sin so that we can live according to righteousness, that we have the grace of God which allows us to live according to the freedom of the children of God. With what have we been entrusted? With the fullness of truth, with Jesus Himself. So when Our Lord tells us that the one who knew his master’s will but did not do it is going to get a severe beating, and the one who did not know his master’s will but did what was worthy of a severe beating will only be given a light beating, we realize that we are without excuse. We know the Master’s Will. We know what the Ten Commandments are. We know what the truth is. If we refuse to live it then we are the ones who are going to be held the most responsible.
Of course, we can also look at this in a variety of other ways. We can look at vocations, for instance. You can say, “Well, the Pope will be held more responsible than anyone on the face of the earth, the bishops after him, the priests, and so on.” But, at the same time, parents are going to be held responsible for what they have taught to their children, the example they have provided. Teachers are going to be held extremely responsible for what it is that they are entrusted with, which is the consciences of these children. You can look at any state in life and we realize that none of us is going to be able to suggest that we have got it easy, that we do not have to worry about this. “Thank goodness these other people have to live this, but I don’t.” None of us can say that because all of us are called to live as slaves of righteousness.
To be a slave of righteousness is to live according to true freedom because it is living according to Jesus Christ. There can be no greater privilege, no greater honor, no greater joy; but, at the same time, because this world does not accept it, there is not going to be any greater suffering either. Yet, at the same time, to suffer for doing what is right, Saint Peter tells us, is a great cause for rejoicing. That is what we have to be able to see.
Our Lord makes very clear that He expects when He returns that He will find us doing what He expects us to be doing. All of us, then, need to look at what is expected; number one, what is expected of us because of the vows of our baptism. We have rejected Satan and we have chosen Jesus Christ. Are we living according to what we have vowed to God? Remember, those are vows, so we are obliged to follow them. Are we truly rejecting Satan and all his works and all his empty promises? He is very subtle; he knows our weaknesses and he will play on those. So are we really, truly rejecting him and everything he is about? Are we truly living according to the way of Christ? Are we praying? That is first and foremost. Are we putting God first, loving Him with our whole heart and soul and strength? Are we seeking His Will in prayer? Are we living according to the vocation to which He has called us and fulfilling the duties of our state in life? That is what is going to be required.
We need to look at all these various areas, getting rid of the areas of sin in our lives, striving for greater righteousness, getting rid of the self and dying to self so that we can live for Christ and for those entrusted to our care. These are the things we have to be about, and that is what we have to look at in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This is the gift that God is offering to us, to be slaves of righteousness, to live truly according to the freedom of the children of God. There is no greater gift, there is no greater responsibility–because from those to whom more has been entrusted more will be required.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.