Sunday 18 September 2022 – GOD IN THE DESTITUTE

25th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Amos 8:4–7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating!  We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!” The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!

2nd Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1–8

Beloved:  First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.  This was the testimony at the proper time.  For this I was appointed preacher and apostle —I am speaking the truth, I am not lying—, teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.  It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Gospel: Luke 16:1–13

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.  He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’  The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?  I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.  I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one.  To the first he said,  ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’  He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’  He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’  The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.“ For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.  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 both God and mammon.”

GOD IN THE DESTITUTE: A destitute person is a person who is extremely poor. He/she lacks the means to provide for himself/herself. When there is a shortage of food, or when there is famine, the people who are destitute suffer most. They are people who need as much support at the time of need. Unfortunately, these people are made more miserable by those who are fortunate. Sometimes, the fortunate ones enjoy seeing the destitute suffering. Yet the destitute and the fortunate belong to one family. They are all created in the image of God whom they all address as their Father. A person who enjoys and is happy when a member of the family is suffering is not worthy to address God as our Father. The one who addresses God as Our Father should be ready to be a ‘Father’ to the destitute. A person who comes to the rescue of the person in need meets God in the needy. He/she sees the destitute as a place to meet God. When he/she leaves this world, he/she will be welcomed with joy by the heavenly hosts.

Prayer: Lord, grant us a generous heart to the needy