Fr William McFadden, 18th September 2016
As someone who does not write their sermons, I do not have an exact text. However, I have tried to offer a brief summary of what I preached about on the text of the crafty steward.
1/ Story of Professor William Barclay. In order to minister you need the three G’s.
Grace; Greek; Gumption.
If you don’t have grace you can pray for it; if you don’t have Greek, you can learn it; if you don’t have gumption, God help you. You will never make a good minister.
2/ Gumption is that great Scottish word for common sense, and in the story of the crafty steward we see a wonderful example of gumption.
In the Catholic Church today we are also blessed with a man of great gumption in Pope Francis.
He has shown by his words and actions an ability to preach the Gospel with amazing common sense, and this is seen above all in his initiative in calling for a Year of Mercy.
The Year of Mercy as a privileged time to remind us that mercy is the way God reveals God’s own self to us.
3/ Pope Francis has asked that we especially show mercy to the poor, and this is brought out also in our first reading today, from the prophet Amos.
As a Church, we can be tempted to put our energies into buildings, but Pope Francis reminds us that it is people who matter, in particular the poor.
Our mission has to be outreach to the poor, something the pope repeatedly affirms.
4/ Being committed in outreach to the poor also offers us wonderful ecumenical opportunities.
In Scotland, we are very involved in ecumenism, for example in ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland), and I was privileged to represent ACTS at the World Council of Churches Assembly in Busan in South Korea.
5/ Our ecumenical commitment in Scotland also requires people of gumption, in order to act with common sense in this quest for Christian unity.