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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 16.11.2014


Much is spoken of about quality of life. Often this arises in conversations about those stricken with some health downturn that leaves a friend or loved one incapable of functioning as they used to. Comments can then take another twist that the one suffering would not want this, that death would be better. It is out of this that those who support assisted suicide find some kind of sympathetic hearing.

Today’s extracts from the scriptures with the industrious wife being praised and similarly the two servants who doubled what they were given and the third who did nothing being condemned would appear to support the view that productivity is praiseworthy but non-productivity is not.

What Jesus praises is our knowing and making good use of all God has enabled us to have. Our parish adoption of the notion of stewardship aims at helping each of us focus on what we have and using it for the glory of God. We speak of time, treasure and talent. Are we using these productively? With the frail aged and those incapacitated in one way or another, time with them is a great gift. Forget the seeming uselessness of spending time with someone who does not know you are there and know it is your humanity and faith that is being nurtured when you do this.

With our treasure we support the work of those who provide assistance to people in need, care of our natural environment. Imaginative and generous use of our talents can have a profound impact for good. Pope Francis has written to Mr Abbott on the occasion of the G20 Summit (http://m.vatican.va/content/francescomobile/en/letters/2014/documents/papa-francesco_20141106_lettera-abbott-g20.html ) asking the leaders not to forget that many lives are at stake behind the political and technical discussions. He names malnutrition, unemployment especially of young people, poverty and exclusion in particular.

Productivity is more than an economic reality. It is the flowering of our full human dignity and our full respect of the dignity of others.

Fr Adrian Farrelly

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Nov 17, 2014 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 16.11.2014 Listen Download