Sunday, November 15, 2020

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The third man in the gospel parable buried his one talent. Given one talent represented quite a lot of money, he buried a lot in that one individual talent. What have you buried, spiritually or psychologically, in the soil of your heart? Past hurtful memories? A God given gift of writing, creating, organizing, teaching, healing? Or perhaps you are burying an addiction or some other negative pattern of living. We all have skeletons in that secret closet in our hearts that we “bury” out of embarrassment or the refusal to let go.

As I saw a number of houses last night with Christmas lights glowing in the darkness, one even had a beautifully lit tree up in the window, I thought of Scrooge, yes, the Christmas Carol Scrooge, who discovered on that fateful Christmas Eve night, that he had buried many things in his heart. These “things” were eating away at his spirit, which had become miserly and hard. Those three spirits or ghosts became the instruments of Scrooge “unearthing” hidden talents and hidden memories of pain that were haunting him.

Scrooge had a talent for making money, counting money, loaning out money. This is a great and good talent that many people have today. Capitalism isn’t evil, it’s how we live it out as individuals and as a country that poses many problems, beginning with greed leading to injustice. Scrooge “buried” this gift, refusing to allow his ability to help people financially be expressed.

Unfortunately, many painful “buried” memories of a mean and distant father, a troubled upbringing and family life led Scrooge to isolate himself and his “talent” for doing good. He slowly built psychological walls around, with the help of Jacob Marley, who visited him on that Christmas Eve, beginning the process of Scrooge unearthing his buried goodness.

The parable Jesus told us all about God’s abundant never ending MERCY, a gift that frees us to give the gift of mercy back into the world, into the lives of our spouses, children, friends, neighbors, co- workers who have hurt us. God’s mercy “weighs” a lot because it never ends. When we bury the mercy we are called to share, the burden is indeed heavy, but this heaviness becomes hard and defiant. Burdens shared become burdens lightened.

NOW is the time to face our buried treasures and our buried wounds. Acknowledge them. Release them. Let the “talent” of God’s mercy flow through your heart and into the hearts of others. When Scrooge awakened on Christmas Day, he became the “incarnation” of a man who, with the help of some ghostly visitors, ran out of his house and right to Bob Cratchit’s house to use his “wealth” to heal Tiny Tim. Let us NEVER bury our goodness, our kindness, our mercy!!

A hint of Christmas in these troubled times. Maybe it’s time to start decorating!!!!

Peace, Joy,
Fr. Frank