Fr Hugh’s Homily for 25th Sunday
Back in the day, many years ago, when there were five priests in a parish, there was a strict order in the diocese of who was to be promoted next to ‘parish priest’. The one who reached the top of the list was called ‘The Head Waiter.’ If, for whatever reason, the Bishop decided not to promote him, then there was a good deal of muttering and questioning as to why he had been ‘passed over.’ After all wasn’t it his ‘right’ to be next. So why had he been by-passed? What was up? And why was the other guy promoted over him? Now, every set of workers has its own ideas about what is fair. What we often fail to think about, when the gossip is flying around, is what decision is right for the good of the firm, which it is in everyone’s interest to make successful. Dioceses too. So it is in our parable. We always concentrate on how unfair the boss seems to be, and know that if we were the first one to be hired then we would be pretty miffed as well. But, as ever, what Jesus is trying to get us to do is not concentrate on ourselves but on the work in hand, and that is spreading the Good News of the gospel. In Graham Greene’s ‘The Power and the Glory’, the whisky priest’s focus is on his own sins, he hates himself for how he is, but in fact he achieves great good, even heroism. This is what God knows we are capable of, sinners or not, that is what God looks at and hopes for from us….
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