Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Homilies


33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fr. Jonathan L. Reardon
November 16th, 2014
Year A

Several years ago, as a seminarian in Rome, I remember being in a taxi heading back to the seminary on a rainy evening. This was very early in my time in the Eternal City so my Italian language skills were quite limited. I do, however, remember talking to the taxi driver. He was asking me about studying for the priesthood and what that is like. I remember telling him I liked it – and that about it! He said something to me though, that made me think. He had said that he too had thought of priesthood but was afraid. To this day I wish my Italian speaking ability was better. I would have been able to talk to him more instead of just saying: “oh, just pray.” I often think of that young taxi cab driver and hope that even though I could not communicate well, he was able to overcome his fear and follow God’s call.

Fear can be a very crippling reality. This is surely evident in with regard to the third servant in today’s gospel. He was anxious about losing the master’s money he became paralyzed with fear. The fact that he knew his master to be a tough businessman should have been motivation enough to pursue some sort of financial gain. Yet, the fear was overwhelming.
Fear can also prevent us from living more fully the Christian life, from witnessing to faith or being more upfront about the fact that we attend Mass, pray and go to confession. Fear can lead us to do things out of peer pressure because we don’t want to look like the oddball in the group. Fear tends to make us overly concerned with what others may think if they knew we go to church.

How do we overcome fear? In order to conquer it, we have to take a risk, we have to make an investment – of ourselves in faith even though the odds may be stacked up against us. The risk of faith involves more than just faith, it is a risk of love and of joy, it is a risk of trying to find our greatest treasure and the deepest meaning of our lives. Here we can only invest ourselves more fully Christ and in His Church. I have said this in the past, so pardon the repetition but – you get nothing out of faith unless you put something into it. Perhaps that means being a little bolder, more courageous in speech and in action… perhaps it means showing our Lord that deep within your heart and soul, there is love and the desire for heaven. We are dealing with God – our loving, merciful Father – not with a demanding businessman… what is there to fear then?


Fr. Jon Reardon

Rev. Jonathan L. Reardon is a priest for the diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts.
He serves at Sacred Heart Parish in Pittsfield, MA.

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