Homilies | Father Nathan

St Gabriel Catholic Church | Pompano Beach
God Bless You All

Father Nathan Homily | November 15, 2020

‘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.'”

— Matthew 25:19

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:

First Reading — PRV 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

Responsorial Psalm128:1-2, 3, 4-5 

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Second Reading1 THES 5:1-6

Gospel ReadingMT 25:14-30 or Mt 25:14-15, 19-21

 

Father Nathan | Homily

Parable of the Three Servants

God Has Created Each of Us in His Image and Likeness — And Given us Talents that are to be shared.

We are all created in the image in the likeness of God. Hence each and every one of us is unique, each and every one of us is a  treasure, and each and every one of us is also a mystery. God has not created anyone as junk. Hence, everyone is given a talent.

Second, even small talents are worth using. Every servant in the parable receives a talent. No one is without a gift.  And the gospel is clear that even the person who receives the smallest talent is expected to use it.  So these two ideas are both important. They build on one another.

God is More likely To Praise

We usually focus on the one servant who buried his money out of fear and received his master’s wrath. But there were two servants who used their talents and who receive their master’s praise. So if you look at this parable simply from a quantitative standpoint, it tells us that God is more likely to praise us for our successes than criticize us for our failures. Or to say this in another way: there is more appreciation and affirmation in the parable than there is judgment.

So if we take this positive approach to the parable, what does it say about affirmation? Two things: that we should take it in and we should spread it around one of the good and incredible values that I find our blessed country is an appreciation that positivity. I still remember when I came to our blessed country USA. After three months of being here when I was asked what’s that I like the most is, I said that POSITIVITY and APPRECIATION.  Our culture is blessed with. It’s the gift and it’s the value. Appreciation always leads to encouragement.

God Affirms Us

Clearly, the master in the parable stands in the place of God. Therefore, this parable is telling us that God affirms us. God is pleased with us. God takes delight in the way that we use the talents that have been given to us. If God is affirming us, how important it is that we take that affirmation in. For you see, affirmation is power. An affirmation can change us. It causes us to grow. Just look at the way that the servants grow in the parable as they are affirmed by their master. They once were only capable of a few things, but now they are trusted with more. They once were unsure, but now they are confident and enter into their master’s joy.

Because God is affirming us, we must let that affirmation in. We are always inclined to look at the negative parts of our life, our failures. But there is no power in our failures. The power comes from accepting God’s affirmation and love. God is affirming us every moment of our lives. God is saying to us, “Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You are a good parent. You are a good spouse. You are a good grandmother, a good sister. You have used your talents generously, faithfully, and creatively. You have been strong and supportive to others.”

It is especially important it is to take in God’s affirmation when we have experienced a setback in our lives maybe after an argument with your partner, or with your kids, or with your friends. How do we fix it?

God is still affirming us, saying to us,

“You are still good because I have made you good. You are still talented because I have given you talents. You are still loved because you are my daughter or my son.”

God’s affirmation of us is the source of power and life. We must take it in.

Spread Affirmation

It is also important to spread affirmation around. For when we give affirmation, we act like God. We act like God when we affirm others, especially those who are closest to us. It is all too seldom that we appreciate the people with whom we live. We certainly love them, but the way we show love can often be counterproductive.

Sometimes we think that the way to express love is to warn others, to save them from their mistakes. Parents frequently choose to love in this way. They can base their loving on warnings: “Don’t do this. Never forget to do that. Do not make this mistake.” They are motivated, of course, out of a desire to protect their children. They seek to make their sons and daughters better people.

There is no power in emphasizing the negative. Power comes from affirmation and love. When was the last time that you praised your daughter or your son? When was the last time that you said, “I am so proud of you. You do this so well.”  Can you imagine the power that is released when such affirmation comes from a mother or father? When is the last time that you paid a compliment to your spouse, or to a close friend? When have you said, “You amaze me at how well you do this. How patient you are, how generous you are, how creative you are.” Can you imagine the sense of power and healing that are released when someone who loves you affirms you in that way? We are truly like God when we decide to spread our praise around.

carry on Jesus’ mission of love and forgiveness

Finally, what would be the message that we all can take for our life?  Let us remember that we are not called simply to “believe” that Jesus is Lord and Savior Instead, we are also called to carry on Jesus’ mission of love and forgiveness, using the physical and spiritual gifts we have received from God to make that happen.

not to be afraid but, trusting in His help

God, who risked everything in the Incarnation of His only-begotten Son as Jesus, the Christ, for the sake of our salvation, expects us to do more than simply cling to safety.  Here, Jesus is encouraging us who follow Him not to be afraid but, trusting in His help, to accept the risks involved with using their talents for the glory of God and for the salvation of our neighbors.

Overwhelmed by the fear of being eternally condemned to Hell, many of us identify ourselves with the servant-slave who quickly buried the talent he received from his Master.  Our concern with our eternal salvation can be so intense that we concentrate only on the possibility of loss and become afraid to risk extending love to others in our spiritual life. 

We presume that forming relationships is always risky, and showing love to another might mean having to change our actions to meet the needs of that other.  There’s always a danger we might “do the wrong thing” and lose the grace we have. The parable teaches us that a “take-no-chances” policy is not Christian.  It’s the challenge passed on to us through this parable.

Amen.

Have a Blessed Week,

Fr. Nathan

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Past Messages from Father Nathan

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | November 1, 2020

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | November 1, 2020

On November 2nd we are going to celebrate All Souls Day. This is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as a few other denominations of Christianity.

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 25, 2020

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 25, 2020

Every week as we profess our faith, we express… “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic
Church and THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.” The author of this letter to the Hebrews wrote. “Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and the perfecter of faith.” (12.1-2)

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 18, 2020

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 18, 2020

The Elections are quickly approaching. Our people have such a love for our nation – which is good. Let us love our nation. I have no other thought than
to say just this: “How blessed we are all, to live such a blessed country. God Bless America!

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 11, 2020

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | October 11, 2020

The Elections are quickly approaching. Our people have such a love for our nation – which is good. Let us love our nation. I have no other thought than
to say just this: “How blessed we are all, to live such a blessed country. God Bless America!

read more