Here is the homily prepared for the IHM Sisters for November 18, 2015.
Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time [I]
2 Maccabees 7:1, 20-31 + Luke 19:11-28
November 18, 2015
“ ‘…from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’ ”
Those who think of Jesus only in comfortable terms are challenged by His last sentence in today’s Gospel Passage. These words conclude a lengthy parable, which St. Luke the Evangelist prefaces with a clear explanation of the motive for the parable: Jesus “proceeded to tell a parable because He was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.”
The “king” of the parable speaks and acts harshly. He refers to himself as “a demanding man”, but his greatest demand comes at the end of the parable. Of his enemies he declares, “bring them here and slay them before me.” The question is to whom this character in the parable refers in real life? Is it possible that he symbolizes God the Father? Given that the Church proclaims this passage in the week before the Solemnity of Christ the King, can this character in the parable symbolize Christ the King?
The king’s demand in the parable is reminiscent of practices found in the Old Testament. God Himself seems there in the light of the Old Law to demand the murder of innocents (for example, when Israel razes pagan lands and cities). Surely such ideas have no place in the teaching of Jesus?
However, the parable’s own inner logic suggests that the servants did have a choice. This points to the choice that each servant of God has: each servant may follow God, or not. At the end of each person’s life is a fork. One branch leads to eternal life and the other to eternal death. This is stark reality that Jesus wants each of His followers to be clear about, so that each can choose wisely.