Theme: TO SERVE GOD AND NOT TO SERVE MONEY
- Amos 8:4-7;
- Psalm 112 (113):1-2. 4-8. R/ cf. vv. 1. 7;
- 1 Timothy 2:1-8
- Luke 16:1-13 (Shorter Form, verses 10-13)
1. Today is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary time, Liturgical Year C. The readings today tell us to serve God and not to serve money. That is, to use money to serve God and neighbor, and not to use God and neighbor to serve money. Money cannot buy us love, life and happiness! Only God can give us love, life and happiness!
The gospel today tells us to serve God and not to serve money:
“No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.” (Lk 16:13; SM)
The gospel today tells us that the steward used his money to serve God and neighbor. The steward subtracted his commission from the debts of his master’s debtors by reducing the one hundred measures of oil to fifty measures of oil and by reducing the one hundred measures of wheat to eighty measures of wheat. (CSB; NJB; IBC) By using his money to serve God and neighbor the steward obtained eternal life! Thus we read in the gospel:
“And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity.” (Lk 16:9; SM)
2. The First reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us to practice social justice. That is, we must not cheat – especially the poor – in our business dealings, in our buying and selling. We must not buy below the fair price and sell above the fair price! We must not tamper with the scales! We must not practice “debt bondage”!
We must buy and sell at a fair price. We must practice social justice by paying the poor a just wage and by providing them with decent living conditions, health care, insurance, retirement fund, etc. Thus we read in the first reading:
“Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. You say to yourselves, ‘…. we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find a poor man who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.’
The Lord, the God of Israel, has sworn, ‘I will never forget their evil deeds.”’ (Am 8:4-7; GNB)
Pope Benedict XVI tells us that besides practicing justice we must also practice charity! That is why every year during the season of Lent we have the “Lenten Appeal” to help the poor! The “Lenten Appeal” helps the poor throughout the year!
3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us to praise God, who raises the poor! God raises the poor materially through justice and spiritually through peace (shalom), that is, salvation! Thus we have the “Justice and Peace Commission” to raise the poor! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“Praise the Lord, who raises the poor.” (Ps 112 (113): 1. 7; SM)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza tells us to praise God. The second stanza tells us to exalt God. The third stanza tells us that God raises the poor. (NJBC; Craghan) Thus we read in the third stanza:
“From the dust he lifts up the lowly, from the dung heap he raises the poor to set him in the company of princes, yes, with the princes of his people.” (Ps 112 (113): 7-8; SM)
4. The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. The second reading tells us to pray not only for ourselves, but to pray also for non-Christians! This is because there is only one God who wants to save all and there is only one mediator Jesus Christ who came to save all. And that is why Paul himself is an apostle to proclaim the good news to the pagans so that all may be saved!
The second reading also tells us to pray especially for kings and rulers so that there will be justice and freedom of religion and so that all may be saved. Finally, the second reading tells us to pray with a sincere heart without anger or argument, and with uplifted hands in a posture of supplication!
5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and our Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us to serve God and not to serve money. The Holy Spirit will help us to use money to serve God and neighbor and not to use God and neighbor to serve money. The Holy Spirit will help us to practice justice and charity.