Saturday, November 8, 2014

“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.”

“When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always ‘add more water to the beans’! Is it possible to add more water to the beans?…Always?…And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in materials things, but in the heart! - (Pope Francis, Address during Visit to the Community at Varginha, Brazil 7/25/13)

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.”

Wealth in itself is neither good nor evil; however, the attachment to wealth is a different matter.  For some, wealth is a blessing, and they use it wisely, as did the Good Samaritan who helped a stranger on the road. For others, wealth is a burden, as we see later in Luke 16: 19., where the rich man is unmindful of the existence of the beggar Lazarus who begs at his gates.

When Jesus mentions “dishonest wealth,” he warns against putting one’s trust in
wealth, and making it an end in one’s life.  There is a tendency for wealth to lead
one to become dishonest.  Hence, Jesus clearly urges his disciples to choose:
you can either serve God or be a slave to riches.  Luke portrays the Pharisees
in this passage as those who find it difficult to give their hearts to God since
they love wealth.

Let us pray today for a discerning heart: to love God by loving our brothers and
sisters, to use wealth without being attached to it, and to share
what we have with the less fortunate.

No comments:

Post a Comment