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Perched on the top of the pyramid of success you will find the CEO, the King of the castle, the president, the boss. On the bottom of the pyramid of success, you will find the worker bees. Here is how the pyramid of success works. The worker bees at the bottom of the pyramid work very hard to make sure that the King, the CEO, the guy on the top of the pyramid is as happy and as successful as possible. Perhaps some of that happiness and success will trickle down through the pyramid to the bottom like crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table.
I mention this because once Jesus gave a parable about a king who gave his worker bee five talents telling him to make some money with it. When the king returns from his trip the worker bee hands the king the five talents back and then he hands him an additional five talents from his hard work. The king is delighted and says to the worker bee: “You are a good and faithful servant, come share your master’s joy.” As I am hearing this parable I think to myself, “I wonder how much joy the master is going to share. Maybe a pat on the back and a half a shekel.” I am shocked to see that the king returns everything back to the worker bee. He gives back his ten talents and then another one. What? Eleven? How is that possible? I’ll tell you what happened. Jesus just turned the pyramid of success upside down. Now the king is at the bottom of the pyramid. And now it is the king’s job to do everything possible to help the worker bee to be as successful and happy as possible.
When you open up a bag of chips, do you ever wonder why the chips inside are not broken or reduced to crumbs because of the shipping? My fly fishing friend owns a company that builds giant microwave ovens for all types of food that eliminates breakage. You put the chip in the oven and it cooks at the perfect temperature. One day he gave me a tour of his company. The workers were really friendly to me and were happy to show me around. At the end of the tour I told my friend that everyone seemed so happy to be at work. My friend said, “This is a very successful business. Our production doubles every year. The reason why we are so successful is because everyone loves their job. And the reason they love their job is because of me. I give them everything they need to be happy and successful at what they do.”
When I used to hear that Jesus is king, I would picture Jesus sitting on a throne in the heavens and we are down here bowing before a throne, but that is not what Jesus had in mind when he said he was a king. We should be thinking instead of the upside-down pyramid. Jesus is at the bottom, he is the one who dies on a cross, he is the servant who makes sure we have everything we need to be successful and happy.
One time I was watching the end of a golf tournament with dad. Phil Michelson was examining his ball on the eighteenth hole. He was walking back and forth studying the undulating green between his ball and the hole. He was taking his time because if the ball rolls in the hole then he wins the tournament. If he misses, then he goes into sudden death with another player. He tapped the ball and it dropped in. Loud cheers were heard and Phil raised his hands over his head in triumph. Needless to say, he was very happy. At that point, I turned to my father and asked him “Dad, I can understand why Phil is happy but why is his caddie so happy?” “Because,” he said, “when the ball went into the hole and he won, the caddie’s pay was just doubled.” That is what happens when you caddie for the best golfer in the world, the boss can double all your efforts.
Remember the servant with the eleven talents. I am sure he is saying, “I really like my boss, I love my job.” That is us on the Feast of Christ the King. We love our king and our job because Jesus gives us everything we need to be successful and fulfilled. The next time you hear that Jesus is king, just remember the upside-down pyramid.Back to All Homilies