Reflection: Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

 Mass is conducted in a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

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[1st Reading – Am.8:4-7; Ps.112; 2nd Reading – 1Tim.2:1-8; Gospel – Lk.16:1-3]

Jesus is speaking about trust and dishonesty. He starts with quite a logical phrase: “The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great.”  Intuitively obvious statement, everyone should agree with it.  This is our own experience in our normal daily relationships and no one has ever doubted about it!  Yet Jesus uses this simple true phrase to start his teaching about one’s relationship with genuine riches.

Jesus says that if one is dishonest with tainted things [using money as an alias], this same person is going to be dishonest with everything, even with genuine things.  Therefore, Jesus asks, who is stupid enough to trust a dishonest person?  Jesus even goes one step further in saying that if one cannot be trusted with what he/she is given to take care of, who is going to give that person what is that person’s property, if he/she is not able to take care of it …  The virtue of trust is built on the virtue of honesty and responsibility and honesty itself is the source of trust … If one is not honest to gain the trust of others, how can this same person pretend to be trusted.  As an example Jesus speaks about money, calling it ‘tainted thing’.  He also speaks about ‘genuine riches’.  One of these genuine riches is ‘Life’ itself.

Life is given by God.  It is given to each and every one of us to care for it throughout one’s own life.  But this same life also continues after our earthly living.  This continuation of life depends on the responsibility/honesty that we have shown in our earthly life.   We are made responsible for our own life not because it is ours, but because it is the image of God in us.  He entrusted it to us because he wants to share with us his same image while we are still on earth.  It only becomes ‘ours’ in the afterlife because we have shown our trustworthiness and therefore we merit it while still on earth … We show responsibility/honesty towards God’s image in us and therefore we merit God’s trust.  Yet, this same life, the value of which is much more valuable than money, how often it is not respected? … Sometimes even for the sake of money itself!  We forget our responsibility to care for the image of God in us, alias our own life and yet, at the same time, we pretend to enjoy life for eternity.  We treat money much better because we do almost anything to gain it.  How often we neglect life itself?  When money becomes the most important thing in our life, it then becomes our master.  Once we have money as our master, we will struggle to have the most important master … i.e. God, even though we carry his own image in us.  God can never become our master because we will be under the influence of money, the tainted thing, instead of God Himself.

Jesus is inviting us to rediscover our true genuine richness, God in our life.  Do we treat God as our master? If not, then what are we doing to have God as our master?

“Lord, often we forget that you are our Lord and Master.  We forget that we hold your own image in us.  Help us to gain the trust of those we meet throughout our life.  Thank you Lord!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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