Homily that wasn’t given 25th Sunday Ordinary Time A – Pat O’Brien
It was the deacon’s week to preach and I always have something ready just in case. This has never happened, but one of the deacons started the homily exactly as I would have, but after that, went a little different way. I liked my homily, so thought I would just share it here and as always it is something that I needed to hear. So here is what my homily would have been for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time A.
The Gospel was about the land owner that paid the same amount to those that worked one hour as those that had worked the entire day. I would have started as Deacon Dan did. Ranting as a child “It isn’t fair, it just isn’t fair.” Life just isn’t fair. The reality is that our faith isn’t about being fair. All we have to do is look at the crucifix to see a sinless man that died for our salvation. In whose book is that fair? Not mine.
Our litigious society is all about what is fair and just. People wrong us and we want justice. People take advantage of us and we promise to not let that happen again. Fairness has become a part of everything we do.
Fairness is subjective
Last year the new Principal asked if she could exempt the 8th graders from finals if they had straight A’s. I said sure. All were happy, or so I thought. I get an email from a parent, very upset. If they had known, they would have pushed their child more. I responded saying what a great lesson. As a former Cowboy coach Tom Landry said, I don’t feel that I am lucky. The interviewer listed a few seemingly lucky turnovers and the Coach responded “we practice that,” for me what you call luck is where preparation meets opportunity. (I realized the coach had read some philosophy as that was from Seneca from time of Christ.) As scouts taught me, Be Prepared.
It was an issue, because it wasn’t seen as fair able to be earned, but in reality, nothing we did changed anything. We gave a gift to some incredible students and saved them and their families some stress. It was rewarding years, for some 11 years, of hard work. This year’s 8th graders are remembering that!
Thank goodness that fairness doesn’t guide entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. I would be in deep trouble. How many of us could survive a fair judgement? Heck, how could Peter have been first Pope if fairness was the principle.
Heaven isn’t Fair!
Thankfully we have a kind and merciful God. God’s judgement is nothing like societies. Fairness in God’s eyes I am sure we will eventually see as a truly objective good for all. God judges out of mercy and compassion. If I get to paradise, I am sure that people will wonder, how the heck did he get there and I will wonder how others arrived. Or maybe once we are there we will understand why and how and fully grasp that the only true fairness is the Love of our Creator.