31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Leo the Great, bishop & doctor
Psalter: Week 3 / (White)
Ps 112:1b-2, 5-6, 8a & 9
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord.
1st Reading: Phil 4:10-19
I rejoice in the Lord because of your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. I do not say this because of being in want; I have learned to manage with what I have. I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both: to be hungry or satisfied, to have much or little. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
However, you did right in sharing my trials. You Philippians, remember that in the beginning, when we first preached the gospel, after I left Macedonia, you, alone, opened for me a debit and credit account, and when I was in Thessalonica, twice you sent me what I needed.
It is not your gift that I value, but rather, the interest increasing in your own account. Now, I have enough, and more than enough, with everything Epaphroditus brought me, on your behalf, and which I received as “fragrant offerings pleasing to God.” God, himself, will provide you with everything you need, according to his riches, and show you his generosity in Christ Jesus.
Gospel: Lk 16:9-15
And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes.
Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own?
No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.
“If you can trust a man in little things, you can also trust him in greater.” In other words, if we can be trusted with the material goods that come into our lives and use them to build the Kingdom of God, to create a more just and equitable society, then we can be trusted with something much greater, to commune with God freed from our possessions and positions. Jesus reminds us that the material goods that come into our lives (no matter how they may have been acquired) do not belong absolutely to us. Everything on this earth belongs to God. We are only the stewards of what has come into our possession and we will be judged on how we make use of it. That leads obviously to the next warning that we cannot be at the same time give ourselves totally to God and become slaves of money and anything connected with wealth. We saw that in the case of the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus. He is possessed by his possessions and so could not surrender his life to Jesus. Many of us think we can and we try to compromise but, to give ourselves to God completely, we must become free of the lure of wealth and deeper still by an acquisitive mentality. “I buy therefore I am” of the present world is the dominant mindset and lifestyle. We end up being consumers and destroy the earth with our disposable mindset and behavior.
Daily Reflection 2018
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