Saturday, November 5, 2011

Like a person still remaining poor, close to a great treasure — he need only stretch out his hand.

"There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy." - anonymous

Gospel text (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."

Faithfulness to small things falls within our reach. Our days are usually formed by what we call as “very normal things”: the same job, the same people, some pious practices, our family... And it is in these ordinary realities where we must fulfill ourselves as persons and grow in holiness. «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» (Lk 16:10). We must do all things well, with upright intention and a sincere desire to please God, our Father; when we do if for love, it has a greater value and prepare us for the “true goods”. How well did St. Josemaria express it!: «Have you seen how that imposing building was built? One brick upon another. Thousands. But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And blocks of stone, each of them insignificant compared with the massive whole. And beams of steel. And men working, the same hours, day after day... Have you seen how that imposing building was built?... By dint of little things!».

One of the challenging characteristics of our time is the desire to have it all. We can tend to want to be people of faith and, at the same time, to be part of the values of our culture. It is easy to not even recognize the desire to want to try to serve God and to also serve our earthly desires. Jesus tells us so clearly in the parable of the dishonest steward, which we had yesterday, and in these sayings which follow it, that we can't serve both. We can't have it both ways. There is an incompatibility between these two types of service. Serving God is irreconcilable with worldly wealth. We can't have two masters.

Today, each of us can ask ourselves if the Lord is the center of our lives. What possession, possessions, honors, status, future security, dream is standing in the way of my choice to completely live as he has taught us? What things, what ways of living, what dependencies, what desires have some mastery over my life? What freedom can I ask for today? Who around me is in greater need than I am? What changes do all of us need to make - what cultural change is necessary - for us all to make this world the place that Jesus desires for us, for everyone?

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