Father Steven Reilly, LC
to podcast version here.
Luke 16: 9-15
Jesus said to
his disciples: "I tell you, make friends for yourselves
with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you
will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is
trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in
great ones; and the person who is dishonest in
very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who
will trust you with true wealth? If you are
not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will
give you what is yours? No servant can serve two
masters. He will either hate one and love the
other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon." The Pharisees, who
loved money, heard all these things and sneered at
him. And he said to them, "You justify yourselves
in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination
in the sight of God."
Introductory Prayer: Father in heaven,
I come to you today to praise and worship
you. In my faith, I reach out to you, knowing
that you love me and are leading me to
heaven. I trust in your mercy and boundless love.
Lord, help me to break the disordered attachments in
1. Earning Trust: Parents know well what this
means! Discovering that your teenage child’s story about being at
a friend’s house studying was just that — a
story — makes for a very unpleasant realization. Trust
has been broken. After the “grounding” takes effect, the
speech is then delivered: “Here’s what you do if you
want to earn back our trust…” Certainly the family
car won’t be lent out again until progress in the
small things has been seen. That’s the message Jesus
has for us today. Our sins are like the
trust-breakers of the teenage kid. They show we aren’t ready
for God’s greatest gifts, so we have to start
with the small things. Each grace we respond to
opens the door to receiving another grace. If we are
trustworthy in very small matters, we can be trusted
with the greater. Following through on the everyday graces
will someday lead to the grace of graces: the Beatific
2. God and/or Mammon: Part of earning trust
with God is getting our priorities straight. Taking a God-AND-mammon
approach to life is similar to trying to say
the rosary while watching television. The Hail Mary’s may
come out, but they do so with as much
reflection as is put into breathing. We simply can’t have
our cake and eat it too. Foolishly entertaining any
bad habits (our personal version of mammon) that erode
our commitment shows God that we are not spiritually mature
enough to be fully trusted. On the other hand,
when we take a determined step to break these
attachments, we make a big step forward. God must come
3. Human Eyes See Only Part of the Story:
Naturally, this effort to live a God-centered life is
going to generate mixed reactions. The Pharisees scorn Jesus
for this: To them, he seems totally naïve about
money. Like them, if we see things only from a
merely human perspective, big chunks of reality elude us.
Jesus is the one who has the complete picture. We
can trust him completely to lead us in the
right direction. We won’t need to hedge our bets
with human props for our sense of security.
Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for helping me
to realize that your grace is more important than anything
I could ever have in this world. Break the
hold of mammon in my life so that I
might serve you with greater purity of intention.
I will make that sacrificial donation to charity that
I have been putting off.