Posted by: RAM | September 17, 2016

Sunday (September 18): “No servant can serve two masters.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady of Sorrows
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
99 Days Before Christmas
Lectionary: 135

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7
Psalms 113:1-2, 4-8:  Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Gospel: Luke 16:1-13
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.”Top of Form
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091816.cfm

Reflection:  What does wealth and riches have to do with the kingdom of God? Jesus seemed to praise a steward (a manager entrusted with his master’s goods) who misused his wealthy employer’s money. What did the steward do that made Jesus praise him? The steward was responsible for managing his wealthy landowner’s property. The steward very likely overcharged his master’s tenants for their use of the land and kept more than his fair share of the profit. When the landowner discovered the steward’s dishonest practice he immediately removed him from his job, leaving him penniless and ashamed to beg or do manual work.

The necessity of prudent foresight to avert disaster
Before news of his dismissal became public knowledge, the shrewd steward struck a deal with his master’s debtors. In discounting their debts he probably was giving up his generous commission. Such a deal won him great favor with the debtors. Since the steward acted as the landowner’s agent, such a deal made his master look very generous and forgiving towards those who owned him money. Surely everyone would praise such a generous landowner as the town hero! Since the master could not undo the steward’s cancellation of the debts without losing face and making his debtors resent him, he praised the steward for outwitting him and making him appear as a generous and merciful landowner.

Generous giving is rewarded with treasure that lasts forever
What’s the point of Jesus’ parable? Jesus did not praise the steward for his dishonest behavior but for his shrewd foresight in relieving the debts of others who he believed would, in turn, treat him as a friend and show him mercy, kindness, and generosity in his time of need and great want. Jesus immediately followed this parable with an exhortation to his followers to make use of the world’s material goods, including “tainted money” ( which in Hebrew means “unrighteous mammon”), to relieve those who are endebted to us for the material and physical help we give them in their time of need and want. In the Scriptures generous giving is connected with alms giving – the sharing of our financial and material resources with those in need (Luke 12:33). Those who receive alms become your friends because you are merciful to them in their time of need. And God who sees all, rewards those who are generous in helping others.

Generous giving will be repaid in kind. Augustine of Hippo reminds us that we are all beggars of God.

“Even though you possess plenty, you are still poor. You abound in temporal possessions, but you need things eternal. You listen to the needs of a human beggar, you yourself are a beggar of God. What you do with those who beg from you is what God will do with his beggar. You are filled and you are empty. Fill your neighbor from your fullness, so that your emptiness may be filled from God’s fullness” (Sermon 56, 9).

Paul the Apostle reminds us, “We brought nothing into this world and we cannot take anything out of this world” (1 Timothy 6:7). The Lord Jesus wants us to make good use of all the resources that he gives us and that come into our possession. Our life is short – but how we invest in this present life will determine our future in the age to come when the Lord Jesus will raise our mortal bodies to immortality and give to each what he or she has sown in this present life.

The rabbis had a saying, “The rich help the poor in this world, but the poor help the rich in the world to come.” Ambrose, a 4th century bishop commenting on the parable of the rich fool who tore down his barns to build bigger ones to store his goods. said: The bosoms of the poor, the houses of widows, the mouths of children are the barns which last forever. The true treasure which lasts is the treasure stored up for us in heaven. God richly rewards those who give generously from the heart to help those in need.

True generosity does not impoverish – but enriches the giver
What is the enemy of generosity? It’s greed, the excessive desire for personal gain and security. However, we do not need to be afraid for true generosity does not impoverish the giver, but enriches that person a hundredfold! Generosity expands the soul – but greed contracts it. God is generous and superabundant in lavishing his gifts upon us. We can never outmatch God in generosity. He has given us the best of gifts in sending us his only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who offered up his life for us on the cross. The Father also offers us the gift of the Holy Spirit who fills us with the fruit of peace, joy, patience, kindness, love, and self-control (Galatians 5:22) – and many other blessings as well. Everything we have is an outright gift of God. Do you know the joy and freedom of blessing others with the gifts and resources God has given to you?

What controls or rules your life?
Jesus concludes his parable with a lesson on what controls or rules our lives. Who is the master (or ruler) in charge of your life? Our “master” is that which governs our thought-life, shapes our ideals, and controls the desires of the heart and the values we choose to live by. We can be ruled by many different things – the love of money or possessions, the power of position, the glamor of wealth and prestige, the driving force of unruly passions and addictions. Ultimately the choice boils down to two: God and “mammon”. What is mammon? “Mammon” stands for “material wealth or possessions” or whatever tends to “control our appetites and desires.”

When a number of the religious leaders heard Jesus’ parable they reacted with scorn (Luke 16:14). Jesus spoke to the condition of their hearts – theywere lovers of money (Luke 16:14). Love of money and wealth crowd out love of God and love of neighbor. Jesus makes clear that our heart must either be possessed by God’s love or our heart will be possessed by the love of something else.

The Lord alone can satisfy our desires and give us generous hearts
There is one Master alone who has the power to set us free from greed and possessiveness. That Master is the Lord Jesus Christ who died to set us free and who rose to give us new abundant life. The Lord Jesus invites us to make him the Master and Lord of our lives. He alone can satisfy the desires of our heart and transform us in his love through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our money, time, and possessions are precious resources and gifts from God. We can guard them jealously for ourselves alone or allow the love of the Lord to guide us in making good use of them for the benefit of others – especially those in need – and for the work of the Lord in advancing his kingdom. Ask the Lord to fill your heart with a spirit of generosity and joy in sharing what you have with others.

“Lord Jesus, all that I have is a gift from you. May I love you freely and generously with all that I possess. Help me to be a wise and faithful steward of the resources you put at my disposal, including the use of my time, money, and possessions.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/sep18.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Joseph of Cupertino, Patron of Aviators, Flying, Studying, and those suffering mental handicaps (1603-1663)

St. Joseph was born in 1603 at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the Kingdom of Naples. After spending his childhood and adolescence in simplicity and innocence, he finally joined the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual. After his ordination to the holy priesthood, he gave himself up entirely to a life of devotion to the Lord and his church. His deep devotional life led him to the kind of holiness which is forged through humility, voluntary mortification, and obedience. He was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted devotion to her among all classes of people as wonderful path to a deeper Christian life and love for Jesus Christ.

It is said that his mother often considered him a nuisance and treated him harshly. Joseph was purported to be slow to learn and absent-minded. He was said to frequently wander aimlessly, with his mouth gaping open. And, he had a bad temper, so, he was not at all popular. He tried to learn the trade of shoemaking, but failed. He asked to become a Franciscan, but they initially would not accept him. Finally he did join the Capuchins. However, for a very short period of time. Eight months later, they sent him away. Sources say it was because he could not seem to do anything right.

He dropped piles of dishes and kept forgetting to do what he was told. His mother was not at all pleased to have the eighteen-year-old Joseph back home again, so she finally got him accepted as a servant at the Franciscan monastery. He was given the friars habit and put to hard work taking care of the horses.

About this time, Joseph began to change. He grew in humility and gentleness, fruits of the Holy Spirit at work in a person. He became more careful and successful at his work. He also began to pray more do more voluntary acts of penance. Finally, he was able to enter the Franciscan order and, eventually, study for the priesthood. Although he was a good and holy friar, he had a very hard time with studies. During his seminary exams, the examiner happened to ask him to explain the only thing he knew well, and so he was ordained a deacon, and later a priest.

After this, the Holy Spirit began to work many amazing miracles through St. Joseph. Over seventy times, people say they saw him rise from the ground while offering mass or praying. Often he went into ecstasy and would be caught up in talking with God. He fell so deeply in love with God that everything he saw only drew him into a deeper union. He said that all the troubles of this world were nothing but the “play” battles children have with popguns. St. Joseph became so famous for the miracles that he was finally kept hidden from the public, but he was happy for the chance to be alone with his beloved Lord. On His part, Jesus never left him alone and one day came to bring him to Heaven. Pope Clement XIII canonized him in 1767. He is the patron saint of air travelers, pilots and learning disabled.

The life of this saint was marked by ecstasies and levitations. The mere mention of God or a spiritual matter was enough to take him out of his senses; at Mass he is said to have frequently floated in the air in rapture. Once as Christmas carols were being sung, he soared to the high altar and knelt in the air, in ecstatic prayer. The people flocked to him in droves seeking help and advice in the confessional, and he assisted many in living a truly devout Christian life. However, this humble man had to endure many severe trials and terrible temptations throughout his life. He died on September 18, 1663. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=72

More Saints of the Day
St. Basilides
Bl. Carlo Erana Guruceta
St. Dominic Trach
St. Eumenes
St. Ferreolus
St. Ferreolus
St. Hygbald
Bl. Jesus Hita Miranda
St. John Macias
St. Joseph of Cupertino
St. Joseph of Cupertino
St. Ludmilla of Bohemia
St. Methodius of Olympus
St. Richardis

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Manila, Philippines

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