Thirty First Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 16: 9-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
GENEROSITY VS GREED: We are called to be honest and sincere even in small matters and gifts that we have. Mother Theresa once said, ” Rich both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly. For not even God can put anything in a heart that is already full.” How do we use our richness? Are we generous? We are called to give our hands in serving and our heart in loving, thus to be disciplined and generous in order to expand our souls and this is only possible through Christ our master. Greed destroys and contracts our relationship with God and man. Unlike the Pharisees who were lovers of mammon, our heart’s most treasure should be of controlling our appetite and desires and only love God above other things.
PRAYER: Grant me the graces to discipline my life and allow my heart to burn with your love and radiate it.
JUSTIFICATION IN THE SIGHT OF GOD: One of the themes that the people of Israel struggled with is how to be righteous. Closely related to this question was the idea of justification – what does it mean to be just? The Pharisees had a clear but simplistic idea of righteousness. For them, it simply consisted in obeying all the rules of the Jewish nation. The positive aspect of this criterion was that it was clear, straightforward and measurable. Nevertheless, the naivety about it was that it identifies righteousness as an outcome of one’s own effort. Jesus (later Paul) changes this perspective: “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” Jesus constantly invites us to measure our righteousness in terms of our relationship with God. It is important to be justified by God.