Use your Ingenuity for the Kingdom

Homily for 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
September 18, 2022
Sacred Heart, EGF – Sunday 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 5:00 PM

Focus:             There’s always a way.
Function:         Use your ingenuity for the Kingdom

Charlotte, North Carolina:

A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars,
then insured them,
among many other things,
against fire.

Within a month,
he had smoked all 24 of these great cigars,
and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy,
the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim,
the lawyer stated the cigars were lost…
in a series of small fires.

The insurance company refused to pay,
citing the obvious reason
that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued… and won.

Delivering the ruling,
the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous.
The judge stated,
that the lawyer had a policy from the company
in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable
and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire –
without defining what was considered to be acceptable fire –
and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process,
the insurance company accepted the ruling
and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for the loss of his 24 cigars lost in the fires.[1]

It’s disgusting, but you’ve got to admit, it’s pretty good.

He’s a rascal, but he’s a clever rascal…  (The lawyer and also the steward.)

The master praises the steward not for his dishonesty, but for his prudence. If a dishonest person could have that much foresight and planning when it comes to worldly business, how much more foresight should the disciple have when it comes to heavenly business?

What if the lawyer used his ingenuity for the Kingdom?

Brothers and sisters,
what about us?

What if we put that much effort into getting into Heaven?

What if we used our ingenuity for the Kingdom?

What if we used our money, our time, our skills
to lead others to Christ
to serve Christ in those in need?

What if acted shrewdly by appearing foolish in the eyes of the world
because we do not ultimately care about what this world will think of us –
because in the end the only thing that matters is what God thinks of us?

The gospel flips the values of the world upside down.  We know this.  What is given away here is stored up as treasure in Heaven. 

Be prudent!  Be creative!  Be generous!

If a dishonest steward can find a way to use his dishonesty to get what he wants,
certainly you and I can apply the Gospel to our lives
and use what we’ve been entrusted with in such a way
so as to receive what we will ultimately want
when we are asked to give an account of the stewardship of our lives.

That dishonest lawyer used his abilities to find a way.

Brothers and sisters,
So should we.

There’s much more at stake for us than a $15,000 payout.
We should not be outdone so easily…

Back to the story…

As I stated,
rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process,
the insurance company accepted the ruling
and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for the loss of his 24 cigars lost in the fires.

Now, for the best part…

After the lawyer cashed the check,
the insurance company had him arrested

on 24 counts of arson.


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