Dear Church Family,
A very strong theme is present “either accepting the Lord totally or not accepting Him at all”. Usually, as followers of the Lord we accept Him but we have our reservations and that’s a challenge always. We hear a strong message that we as servants of the Lord cannot serve two masters. We “will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” So, we say again and again challenging ourselves to a total commitment to Jesus, “You cannot serve both God and mammon” or money or the things of this world.
Last Sunday, I ended my homily by going to the back of the church and having the congregation turn that way. After claiming that we are always in need of the Lord in so many special ways, we go through the ups and downs of life and the times when we really need strength to get through some crisis in relationships or economic troubles or the loss of loved ones, or sickness and in death. As I said, “Fires and brimstones may come our way, but we always have the Lord and we turn to the Lord.” While at the back of the church I said, “Our Lord is saying to us, I am right here every Sunday, every day at the sacred Mass when you put in your hands or put on your tongue My Sacred Body and Blood, here I am so intimately close.” That’s why I had you turn to the back and I held up the bread and the wine to become our Lord’s Body and Blood. God is with us, so we want to serve the Lord and be totally committed to Him. We will certainly put in great perspective that we cannot serve both God and all the material things of this world symbolized by the word “mammon” or “money”.
We have a very peculiar parable, which tries to over emphasize what we would do in daily life where we would always look out for number one and make sure we are covering our struggles and problems. We have the unjust steward who is looking out for himself as we often do. The Lord Jesus, praises the unjust servant because of his shrewdness in taking care of ourselves in this life. We hear of certain amounts of shrewdness in the candidates for the presidency especially. They are always tempting us to take care of ourselves. The first reading has a strong message of never abusing anyone, especially the rights of the poor, just as the prophet Amos speaks for social justice. Although the candidates will talk about concerns for our safety and economic prosperity, we also have to be concerned about the poor and making it a better world for everybody, especially for those who have such bad breaks.
Church, be shrewd about the things of the Lord. Be shrewd about Jesus’ message of always looking out for the least of our brothers and sisters as He says, “If you do this, then you do it to Me.” That’s where we are as we are challenged to not serve mammon but to serve the Lord, to recommit ourselves to a greater, greater sensitivity to anyone in need, especially in the political and social arenas that we take care of the poor. Praise God!
Love, Fr. Bob