Bulletin: September 22, 2019
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Make a choice. God or money, material things, earthly pleasure. This is what Jesus asks us to do in today’s Gospel. The Pharisees and scribes, and many people, want it both ways. God and wealth. But Jesus knows that “no servant can serve two masters.” It is not that wealth is inherently bad, but the pursuit of it to the exclusion of what is good and righteous is. Our faith is meant to guide and shape the way we live. If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we will treat others, especially the poor and vulnerable, fairly and justly. We will live with devotion to God and let our lives speak the truth of God’s love for all. We will put first things first, or more precisely, put God and God’s ways first, assured that when we do, everything else will fall into place.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
We make decisions every day. Some are substantial, many seem inconsequential. The truth is, all of our choices add up and paint a picture of who we are and what matters most to us. Whether we rise at the first sound of the alarm or hit snooze three times before getting up does not seem important in the moment, and yet that choice can be a sign of how we value and use the time God has given to us. When we put God first, all of the decisions we make in the course of our days are reflections of our relationship with God and others. People sometimes say that the priest talks about money too much. A few priests might do that, but most are simply reflecting on the Gospels, which often include Jesus’ teaching about the proper use of money. Jesus knew that money is one of the things that can come between us and God. That is why Gospel passages like the one we heard today are so important. Jesus understood the temptations of this world—to live for wealth, to be dishonest, to get our priorities out of order—and so, his teaching is as timely now as it was two thousand years ago.
STEWARDS OF GOD’S GOODNESS
Jesus tells us that we must be trustworthy with what belongs to another. All we are and all we have is God’s. Our lives, faith, talents, relationships, material and financial wealth—all are gifts from God, entrusted to us. We are called to steward them well, to be trustworthy with our many blessings, in order to bring Christ’s love and presence into the world. The way we live our lives, the choices we make, the way we respond to the needs of others—all of this is a stewardship, a way of serving God, not mammon.
Today’s Readings: Amos 8:4–7; Ps 113:1–2, 4–6, 7–8; 1 Tim 2:1–8; Lk 16:10–13