Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Homily for the Thirthy-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A (November 13, 2005)

In the Church, the month of November has a unique character: we remember our deceased, and pray for the souls of the faithful departed throughout the month; the readings change course slightly and direct our thoughts to our own last days; and then we prepare for Thanksgiving, the Feast of Christ the King, and then the end of the Liturgical Year, and the beginning of Advent.

My own thoughts have, in particular, turned to these themes during the past few days – not just because of the readings we hear at Mass, but because of world events and how they have affected my family. You see, just a little over a week ago, my cousin Major Gerald Bloomfield, was shot down and killed while flying a helicopter mission near Ramadi, Iraq.

My cousin was a Super Cobra pilot for the Marine Corps; he loved his job, and he loved his country. His chopper, however, was targeted by enemy fire and he was killed. The “day of the Lord” came for my cousin exactly as a “thief in the night.”

Our Lord’s parable reminds of us this reality, but in different terms: each of us, according to our ability, has received talents from the Lord. All our abilities, all our gifts, our entire life, are gifts from our Lord; nothing we have is due to our own strength, power, or knowledge.

“After a long time,” our Lord will return, to settle accounts. We must be prepared for our Lord’s return – not just prepared with a return on our Lord’s investment, so to speak. But first, we must be prepared to relinquish everything to God upon His return. In truth, we have no choice in the matter; when our time comes to meet the Lord, we have neither strength nor ability to delay His coming.

But, knowing this, “you are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you as a thief,” says St. Paul. “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.” And even so, Paul admonishes the Thessalonians – and us – to stay alert and sober. Our culture lulls us to complacency on so many fronts; we are convinced that the riches we have received from God should be kept secure, but never grow, never flourish.

The Church must, however, take to heart the message from Proverbs, reaching out her hands to the poor, and extending her arms to the needy. Is not the richest meaning of the “worthy wife” of the first reading found in the glory of our Lord’s bride, His Church? As members of His Church, we must do all we can to bring glory to the Bridegroom, to our Lord.

He has entrusted, not merely talents of gold or silver to our care to receive a return above the prime rate; He has entrusted His heart to us, and asks for our heart in return.

We must examine our lives then, according to His great generosity, and according to the knowledge that we must one day render an account of our service. Have we fought for the unborn? Have we defended the downtrodden and voiceless? Have we fed the poor and sheltered the homeless?

Have we educated our families in the Faith? Have we, in short, been prepared to give our lives for the Gospel, recognizing that nothing that we have is our own, but that everything is a gift from the Father?

My Cousin gave his life in service of our country. Are we prepared to give our lives for the service of the Gospel? Please God that we may; and that we will each be blessed to hear those joyous words: “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.”