Stewards of Mercy Week 4: He Made an Agreement

(November 20, 2016)

Message: God wants spontaneous acts of mercy. Even more he wants us to become Stewards of Mercy.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast culminates our liturgical year and the Jubilee Year of Mercy. These are great themes but in my homily I have a more modest proposal - to remind you that God wants you be a Steward of Mercy and that being a Steward of Mercy involves making a commitment.

In today's first reading we hear that King David "made an agreement." He made an agreement with the elders of Israel and they poured oil over him - anointing him King of Israel. One of our greatest capacities is that we can make agreements: make commitments to God and each other.

For sure many things happen spontaneously - and those moments can be glorious. In the Gospel a ruined man says to Jesus, "remember me." Jesus, himself in torment, says "today you will be with me in paradise." A glorious spontaneous moment of mercy. Those moments can break into our lives and we should be open to them.

But, you know, along with spontaneity we need commitment. In our relationship with God and with each other - like David - we need to make an agreement.

Many of you have done that in filling out your Stewardship pledge. It's a way of saying: Considering everything in my life - all of God's blessings and challenges - I can make a weekly or monthly return to the Lord. Some of you have told your bank or credit card company to automatically take out a certain amount each month.

You made an agreement. This can be a model for other aspects of our lives. For example, you can make agreement with God - and maybe with others in your household - that you will participate in the greatest prayer: the Sacrifice of the Mass. That on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning you won't say, "Oh, I just don't feel like it." No, you will say, I made an agreement.

The same applies to daily prayer. Few of us leap spontaneously out of bed. When the alarm goes off I sometimes think, my bed is so warm and the room is so cold. However, if I remember my agreement with God and get up, I feel good.

If I fall down as I often do, I place myself under the Divine Mercy. Jesus has a way of lifting me up. Reminding me, sometimes gently, sometimes jarringly: Felipe, you made an agreement.

This is important. God wants spontaneously acts of mercy. Even more he wants us to become Stewards of Mercy. As we saw from the example of Zacchaeus that means to share ones possessions. You can't take it with you but you can send it ahead. Last week we heard, "Lo, the day is coming." Not a cause for alarm but a call to work quietly. Day in, day out, to be a steward of mercy.

Next week we begin the Season of Advent. We will focus on that great day of the Lord's coming. Jesus is King. Like David he makes an agreement. He will stand with us in our moments of weakness and suffering. You have made an agreement with him and he will enable you to be a Steward of Mercy. Amen.

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Spanish Version

From Archives (Homilies for Christ the King, Year C):

2013: The Opposite of Faith
2010: The King Over All Kings
2007: Life & Death of a Thief
2004: To Sneer or Not to Sneer
2001: Jesus, Remember Me
1998: The Great Secret

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Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

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