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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 25th (C) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Amos 8:4-7): Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! «When will the new moon be over», you ask, «that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!». The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!
Responsorial Psalm: 112
R/. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and forever.

High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is his glory. Who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?

He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people.
2nd Reading (1Tim 2:1-8): Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed preacher and apostle —I am speaking the truth, I am not lying—, teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 8:9): Alleluia. Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 16,1-13): Jesus told his disciples, «There was a rich man whose steward was reported to him for fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him: ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service for it is about to be terminated’. The steward thought to himself: ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do: I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be some people to welcome me into their house’.

»So he called his master's debtors one by one. He asked the first who came: ‘How much do you owe my master?’. The reply was: ‘A hundred jars of oil’. The steward said: ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write there fifty’. To the second he put the same question: ‘How much do you owe?’. The answer was: ‘A thousand measures of wheat’. Then he said: ‘Take your bill and write eight hundred’.

»The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the people of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light. And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have not been trust-worthy in handling filthy money, who could entrust you with true wealth? And if you have not been trustworthy with things which are not really yours, who will give you the wealth which is your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money».

«You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money»

+ Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach
(Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel introduces us to the figure of the unfaithful steward: a man rendering a fraudulent service to his master. He is just a simple steward, but behaves as his master. We must bear in mind:

1) Material goods are actually necessary and good, because they come from God's hands. Consequently, we have to prize them.

2) But we cannot “worship” them as if they were God and the ultimate meaning or purpose to our existence; we have to be open-handed. Riches are meant for us to better serve God and men, our brothers; not to expel God from our heart and our deeds: «You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money» (Lk 16:13).

3) We are not owners, but simple stewards; therefore, not only are we supposed to be trustworthy with whatever we administer, but we are also to make it yield to the best of our possibilities. The parable of the talents shows it quite clearly (cf. Mt 25:14-30).

4) Do not let greed drag us along; we have to practice liberality, which is a virtue we should all have, whether rich or poor, each one depending upon his circumstances. We have to give others!

What if I have enough for my own expenses? Yes, you must also try to increase your wealth to be able to give more (parish, diocese, Caritas, apostolate). Remember St. Ambrose's words: «It is not part of your worldly goods what you give to the poor; what you are giving them is already theirs. Because you have appropriated what has been given for the fruition of all. Land belongs to all, not only to the rich».

Are you so selfish that you only think of amassing material goods, even if it is as the Gospel's steward did, by lying, stealing, by being stingy, hard-hearted and indifferent to others' needs? Do you ever ponder over St. Paul's words? «God loves a cheerful giver» (2Cor 9:7). Be generous!