18 thg 9, 2016

Homily for 25th Sunday In Ordinary Time C (September 18, 2016)

No slave can serve two masters.
You cannot serve God and wealth
” (Lk. 16:13),
My dear brothers and sisters,
The message of today's readings calls us to choose who we will serve during our lives. It reminds us that we cannot be slaves to the world and to God. As Catholics, as slaves of God, we are forever indebted to our Lord for our salvation.
In the first reading, we hear the prophet Amos championing the poor. He criticises the rich not because they are rich but because they have unjustly treated the poor. The Israelites were waiting impatiently for the end of the holy days and Sabbaths so that they could proceed with their dishonest practices.
Amos the prophet was address people who were a lot like many Catholics today. They were very aware of their religious obligations, and they were careful to fulfill them, but after they had fulfilled their religious obligations they considered the rest of their lives their own, to live pretty much however they pleased.
The parable in the today’s Gospel of Luke [Lk. 16:1-13] draws our attention to the image of the dishonest manager. Jesus tells this parable to shake people out of their complacency. Through His preaching, Jesus has shown people a new way of living life. He has proclaimed the Kingdom of God, and Jesus is confronting his listeners with the need to decide: for Him, or against Him. Although calling this manager "that dishonest steward," Jesus praises him for that: not for his dishonesty, but because he acted boldly and did what he could to help others.
The dishonest steward reminds us of something deep in our Catholic tradition. Back in the fourth century St. John Chrysostom said: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes St. John Chrysotom: What we have does not ultimately belong to us. We are administrators - stewards of God's gifts. Like the dishonest steward, when we give to the poor, we are assuring that someone will welcome us into eternal life.

Be like the steward in today's Gospel, let us get out with the people, make the best of a difficult situation. Jesus assures us that if we are trustworthy with small things, he will give us greater responsibilities. He will give us what we need to be good and prudent stewards. Amen

Fr. Joseph Pham Quoc Van, O.P.

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