A Graduate School of Theology and Ministry

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

September 18, 2022



Lectionary 135:

Amos 8:4-7

Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

1 Tim 2:1-8

Luke 16:1-13


Possible preaching themes:


  • The power of silence for leading a life “in all devotion and dignity”  from the second reading.  Silence is not only an important practice for hearing God’s Word to us but is now understood by scientists as an important practice for personal and emotional wellbeing.


  • That Gospels instruction on “trustworthiness” has strong resonance in the work of neuroscientists and psychologists.  It is a human trait worth nurturing; through the eyes of faith it is a valuable avenue for upbuilding God’s reign and upholding the dignity of others.


Possible scientific resources




Homily outline on Trust


  • The importance of building trust
    • Whether it is in parenting, friendship or leadership trust is an important trait for growth and wellbeing
    • American Psychological Association defines trust as reliance on or confidence in the dependability of someone or something. 
      • In interpersonal relationships, trust refers to the confidence that a person or group of people has in the reliability of another;
      • it is the degree to which each party feels that they can depend on the other to do what they say they will do. The key factor is not the other’s intrinsic honesty but their predictability. 
      • Trust is considered by most psychologists to be a primary component in mature relationships with others https://dictionary.apa.org/trust 
    • Trust is an essential element for effectively raising a child who is emotionally heathy, has increased empathy, and even greater creativity https://www.mother.ly/parenting/how-to-get-your-teenager-to-trust-you-mama/ 
    • Business experts recognizes that building a trusting environment in the workplace contributes to more pleasant working conditions and increases productivity.  https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-neuroscience-of-trust


  • Living in an age of Mistrust


  • Why do people have trust issues
    • These develop as a result of past or present experiences, often rooted in experience as children (e.g., betrayal, abandonment, harm)
    • Common signs of trust issues include:
    • Repairing Trust 
      • Mental health experts teach us that we can repair trust by 
        • Processing past hurts
        • Becoming comfortable with risk
        • Working together Process past hurts
        • Move toward acceptance of mistrust


  • Jesus reveals a God who is Trustworthy
  • While Jesus’ instruction about being trustworthy could appear to be only comments about his disciples or others, they are also testimony about himself
  • Jesus was trustworthy in small matters, whether that was his affirmation of the little ones (e.g., Matt 19:14) and the marginalized (e.g., Luke 19:1-10) 
  • As he was trustworthy in great matters, such as his willingness to stand his ground and give up his life for the vision of God’s reign that he had lived and proclaimed
  • Jesus built trustworthy relationships with disciples that he considered friends and not slaves (John 15:15) 
  • He continuously revealed a loving God, not a law-driven judge but a loving parent (e.g., Matt 7:7-12)
  • Even though some of his handpicked disciples were not always trustworthy, like Peter who denied him (Luke 22:54-62), Jesus did not become defensive or pick a fight with Peter, but forgave and commissioned (John 21:15-17)


  • Implications for us
  • Following Jesus is a struggle to model in all of our imperfections his virtue 
  • Like all human beings, we too are inclined to distrust
  • Experiences like the sexual abuse crises in the Church have also prompted unusual mistrust of our own leadership
    • Trust is not only a gift it is a task, not only a promise from Jesus about himself and the God he reveals, but also part of our mission
    • Being wiling to risk trust is an exceptionally concrete way to enact the command to love our neighbor
    • Our worship together is a communal act of trust in the God who hears our prayers and trust in the community that joins with us in mission
    • As we prepare for public communion, let us pray that this enduring act of solidarity with God and each other might feed our commitment and need for trust.
Liturgical: Ordinary Time
Topic: Neuroscience, Psychology

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