By Fr. Andrew Kelly
TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPTEMBER 22, 2013
In Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-13) Jesus says the strangest thing: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.”
In the Christian perspective all wealth and resources are gifts of God. They are considered “dishonest” because no one deserves these gifts.
Luke’s Gospel stresses that the only way to make friends with “dishonest” wealth and resources is by getting rid of them through taking care of human beings who lack food, shelter, clothing, education and appropriate health care. If God gives gifts, Christians give them away as gifts.
Stewardship, which is using resources responsibly, is a core value of a believing community. All the community’s wealth and resources are God’s gifts. These gifts challenge the community to constantly ask: How does the community make “friends” by giving away its gifts to those in need?
There is no way around the question because Jesus warns his followers: “No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 22-29
1 Tm 2:1-8
Lk 16:1-13 or LK 16:10-13
Ezr 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20
Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a
Am 6:1a, 4-7
1 Tm 6:11-16