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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Phil 4:10-19): Brothers and sisters: I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last you revived your concern for me. You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity. Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning of the Gospel, when I left Macedonia, not a single church shared with me in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone. For even when I was at Thessalonica you sent me something for my needs, not only once but more than once. It is not that I am eager for the gift; rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account. I have received full payment and I abound. I am very well supplied because of what I received from you through Epaphroditus, “a fragrant aroma”, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm: 111
R/. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice; he shall never be moved; the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.

His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear. Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 8:9): Alleluia. Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 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.”

«The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones»

Fr. Joaquim FORTUNY i Vizcarro (Cunit, Tarragona, Spain)

Today, Jesus speaks again with authority: He uses the «so I tell you», that has a particular force, as if dealing with a new doctrine. God wants everyone to be saved and to come to keep knowledge of the truth (cf. 1Tim 2:4); God wants us saints and today He points out necessary traits which will help us to reach holiness and have the “true goods”: faithfulness to small things, authenticity and never to forget God knows our hearts.

Faithfulness to small things falls within our reach. Our days are usually formed by what we call as “very normal things”: the same job, the same people, some pious practices, our family... And it is in these ordinary realities where we must fulfill ourselves as persons and grow in holiness. “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” (Lk 16:10). We must do all things well, with upright intention and a sincere desire to please God, our Father; when we do if for love, it has a greater value and prepare us for the “true goods”. How well did St. Josemaria express it!: “Have you seen how that imposing building was built? One brick upon another. Thousands. But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And blocks of stone, each of them insignificant compared with the massive whole. And beams of steel. And men working, the same hours, day after day... Have you seen how that imposing building was built?... By dint of little things!.”

It can help us to have the right intention to carefully make, every evening, our examination of conscience without ever forgetting that God sees everything, even the most hidden thoughts, just as we learnt with our catechism, and that the important thing is to please always our Father God, whom we have to serve with love, bearing well in mind that “no servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other” (Lk 16:13). Don't never forget: “Only God is God” (Benedict XVI).