NOVEMBER 6. Ord Time (B) Wk 31. Sat. Lk 16. 9-15
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. 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. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’
Today’s reading follows on from yesterday’s where the steward who was about to be sacked was credited for his astuteness in using his circumstances to look after his welfare after learning he was to be dismissed from his employment.
The general theme from yesterday continues except the focus seems to have moved to the winning of friends in heaven? ““Use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and so make sure, when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity!”
Christ then expresses some obvious truths such as “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” – “if you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?”
The implication being our actions on earth, with ‘little things’ or ‘tainted things’; - such as money; - are indicators of how we will deal with “heavenly things”; - our relations with God. Prayer, the Sacraments, Humility, Charity etc.
A man who is genuine in seeking holiness will treat everything; - the matters of earth and the matters of heaven; - in a way that contributes to the attainment of his eternal life and coincides with the will of God.
When we hear these parables of Jesus’ we always need to be aware their main purpose is to teach his followers, and the points he makes are valid; - the need to use the money or riches you have to aid, not only your earthly life, but more importantly your eternal life!
“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him,” – a response that showed they did not understand the message Jesus was giving, as the focus of their lives was primarily on the attainment and maintenance of their status
He said to them, “You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God!”
What men think highly of is money and status. Christ thinks highly of poverty and humility!
Gospel Acclamation 2Cor8:9
Jesus Christ was rich but he became poor
to make you rich out of his poverty.
First reading Romans 16:3-9,16,22-27
The mystery kept secret for endless ages must be broadcast everywhere
My greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked death to save my life: I am not the only one to owe them a debt of gratitude, all the churches among the pagans do as well. My greetings also to the church that meets at their house.
Greetings to my friend Epaenetus, the first of Asia’s gifts to Christ; greetings to Mary who worked so hard for you; to those outstanding apostles Andronicus and Junias, my compatriots and fellow prisoners who became Christians before me; to Ampliatus, my friend in the Lord; to Urban, my fellow worker in Christ; to my friend Stachys. Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
I, Tertius, who wrote out this letter, greet you in the Lord. Greetings from Gaius, who is entertaining me and from the whole church that meets in his house. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends his greetings; so does our brother Quartus.
Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.