20 Sep 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
On this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jesus’ parable is straightforward. A manager is about to get fired, so he falsifies everybody’s loan agreements, handing out deep discounts. Now all the debtors are friends who can help him in the future.
What does the boss do when he finds out? He praises the guy for being a gutsy, crafty businessman – and Jesus agrees. No matter how we read it and make excuses, we can’t get around the fact that Jesus praised a manager who cheated his boss. At least that is the way our culture would see it.
Amos denounces the wealthy, who care only about personal gain and who do not hesitate to cheat the poor. Amos and Jesus both emphasize the fact that “God hears the cry of the poor.” Jesus concludes his parable with the statement “Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” He seems to be saying that the right use of money is simply and always to assure that it helps those in need. St. John Chrysostom say something similar, but with more shock value. Chrysostom said, “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them….It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.” Jesus did not tell parables as comforting bedtime stories. Parables should wake us up and give us a new perspective. The first sign that we are hearing Jesus’message is that it makes us uncomfortable.
Jesus is saying that worldly people are more willing to sacrifice for worldly goals than Christians are for Christian goals. The readings today are intended to encourage and inspire us. No one has a greater goal to work and to sacrifice for than we Christians. And what is that goal? It is to bring peace to those who are disturbed. It is to bring happiness to those who are sad. It is to bring the light of the Gospel to those who walk in darkness. It is to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of our world.
Fr. Joe and I will be on Convocation with our bishops and all the priests working in the Diocese this week. Please pray that it will be a tremendous time of spiritual growth for the benefit of our parish. Know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
May God bless, protect and keep you!