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HomeHomilySunday Homily - 24 September 2023

Sunday Homily – 24 September 2023

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Also Read: Mass Readings for 24 September 2023 Mass Reading Reflection for 24 September 2023

Gospel: Matthew 20: 1-16a

The Late Comers.

Latecomers to a classroom or a workplace are hardly appreciated. To the horror of many, we see Jesus glorifying the latecomers. They are too late to find Jesus in their lives. Yet they are awarded with citations of excellence.

One is indeed blessed to have been born in a Christian family where parents pass on the basics of Christian life to their children. They are fortunate to know Jesus from childhood. They receive baptism as an infant. They go to the church regularly as a family. They are encouraged to read the Bible and pray every day. As they grow up, they receive other sacraments. They reconcile with God and others through the reception of the sacrament of confession every once in a while. Going by the parable, they are the laborers who join the master at the first hour of the day.

But others choose Christ later in their lives. They were born to parents of different faiths or parents with no faith at all. Some of them were born to Christian parents by name, but who cared little about Christ or the Church. Some were born and raised Christians but drifted away from Christ as they grew up. Yet, they choose Jesus at a later hour. Some joined Jesus on the third hour, and some as late as the eleventh hour.  For Jesus all of them are Christians. There is nothing like half-Christian or quarter-Christian with Jesus. Either one is a Christian or not a Christian.

This parable is a prophesy too. There are a good number of latecomers who challenge the traditional Christians.

Saul was a valiant Jew who wanted to wipe out Christians from the face of the earth. But he ended up being the all-time most powerful preacher of Jesus Christ. He was instrumental in taking Jesus to the Gentiles. He contributed more books to the New Testament than anyone else.  Although a latecomer among the apostles, the first Jerusalem council referred to St. Paul before resolving matters on gentiles (Acts 15,12), and St. Peter recommended his letters (2 Pet 3:15ff) to all Christians.

St. Augustine was a latecomer as a Christian, but his contributions as a Christian theologian are unmatched.

St. Mary of Egypt, (1) who lived in the fourth century, started as a prostitute at the age of seventeen.  She joined a pilgrimage group to Jerusalem to do her business. She could not enter the Church, as some mysterious force prevented her entry several times. Sitting at a corner of the church yard she started to cry for her sins for the first time in her life. Seeing a statue of Our Lady outside the Church she invoked the help of her and promised not to sin again if she were granted entry to the Church. Her next attempt to enter the Church was granted and coming out of the Church, she was directed to the desert across the Jordan River, where she lived a hermit life for forty-seven years. She is a latecomer exalted by Jesus.

Nabeel Qureshi (2 & 3), was a young Muslim born to Pakistani parents in the USA. While joining the university his dream was to convert as many Christians to Islam as possible. While discussing religion and faith, his friend and roommate gently pushed him to read the Bible. Seeking Allah, he found Jesus and ended up a Christian apologist and preacher himself. He died young on 16th September 2017.

Hatun Tash, (4) daughter of a Turkey Imam, now lives in England and regularly preaches Jesus on social media, and at the ‘Speakers Corner’ in Hyde Park, England. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at the age of 31, in the year 2013. Now she actively preaches Jesus to the Islamic world. She has been attacked multiple times by Islamic fundamentalists, and none could stop her from preaching Jesus.

Just shared the stories of a few awesome ‘late comers.’ With Jesus, it doesn’t matter if you are an ‘early bird’ or a ‘latecomer.’ For Jesus, you are always special. If you happen to be an early bird, be grateful and get inspired by the latecomers. If you are a latecomer, be grateful to the Lord, and do a wonderful job as a true Christian.



  2. Book: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, a Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity”, Nabeel Qureshi; Autobiography
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Hello, I am Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI, a Catholic priest belonging to the Indian Carmelite order, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), founded by three pious 19th-century priests: Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara, and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Currently, I work as a missionary priest working in Peru. May God bless you all!

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