The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Monday, September 24, 2007

25 Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C
Amos 8:4-7; 1Timothy 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13

Penitential Rite:

• Lord Jesus, you called St Matthew to be your Apostle, give us the courage to follow you like he did it, Lord, have mercy.
• Christ Jesus, you invite us to be your witnesses, give us the wisdom to be able to avoid the temptations, Christ, have mercy.
• Lord Jesus, you make us a Church, reunite us around the table of your Word and your Body, Lord, have mercy.

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and brig us to everlasting life. Amen.


Reading 1 - Am 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!

Reading II - 1 Tm 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 - Lk 16:1-13 or 16:10-13
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.”


Thus, the lesson to be drawn from this parable is that the followers of Jesus must also act prudently in regard to their own future prospects.

"Use your worldly wealth to win friends for yourselves, so that when money is a thing of the past, you may be received into an eternal home." How many of us do this????

Somebody might have this in mind when he said, "God has given us two hands - one to receive with and the other to give with."

The epitaph found on an English grave. "What I kept I lost. What I spent I had. What I gave I have."

We might do well to reflect from time to time on this message from the Talmud while we still have the time. "We are born with our hands clenched. We die with our hands open. Entering life we desire to grasp everything. Leaving the world all that we possess slips away."

The dishonest steward reminds us of something that is deep in our Catholic tradition. Back in the fourth century St. John Chrysostom said: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs."

The world needs 13 billion dollars to feed all who are hungry, at the same time (only in USA) food for the pets costs 25 billion dollars each year.

So, the wealthy Christians in USA are spending twice as much for the food for pets as the whole world needs for feed the hungry. "Use your worldly wealth to win friends for yourselves …”

Each day around 30 000 (30 thousand) children under the age of 5 is dying due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year.

- each day only in France with the population of 63 million 60 000 (60 thousand) tons of food goes to garbage

- how much does it in your household?

What did you do with your wealth?

So many are driven to get rich. What's wrong with being rich? people ask. Catholics can be, and sometimes are, very rich. But, by definition, no one can really become rich without (many) others being made or kept poor. To be defined as rich in our society means having more, much more, than the average person.

So the question of a successful life is not "How much did you make?" but "How did you use what you had to creative purposes for the general welfare of all?" That is the way to make the friends Jesus talks about in the Gospel.

God’s word has called on us to get life in balance, so that we do not make gods out of money or possessions, but rather, that we seek ways to serve the needy with justice and love.

Lord, show us your mercy and grant us your salvation now and forever through Christ our Lord. Amen

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