Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
September 23, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13 or 16:10-13
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Like most priests of our diocese, I grew up in a family that was rich in faith, but very limited in the goods of this world.
While Americans live on a comfort scale well above the Third World, there is growing concern that the gulf between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is growing at an alarming rate. The current injustice in our structure is well-expressed in the old adage, "The rich are growing richer, and the poor are growing poorer."
How does God judge greed?
The prophet Amos, while speaking in the eighth century B.C., might just as well be voicing Godís judgment on our present-day society. It is just not acceptable to Him! In fact, greed seems to be one of those sins which anger God the most. Although the story in todayís Gospel about the unjust steward who is about to be fired is somewhat confusing, the main lesson is very clearó"the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light."
Because this steward, seeing he is about to be fired, reduces the debts of all his masterís debtors. In so doing, he makes his master look good, and makes friends of those debtors he had cheated by giving back to them his own commission! Even though he lost his job, he neatly provides for his future state of unemployment.
God has never blessed stupidity. On the contrary, he so wishes that his followers, in spreading the Kingdom, would imitate the cleverness of the worldly! One saintly medieval commentator, Cornelius a`Lapide, suggests that we sinful, struggling disciples ought to show some cleverness.
By praying earnestly every day for the poor souls in Purgatory so that when we die and are in that place of purification ourselves, those for whom our prayers have earned Heaven may return the favor, and beseech the Lord to shorten our stay there and bring us immediately to eternal joy.
That, according to a`Lapide, is the meaning of "make friends for yourselves of the mammon of dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." Not a bad idea, when we consider that the second reading for this Sunday is all about the necessity of constant daily prayer if we wish to be saved.
ó Msgr. Paul Whitmore --
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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