God versus wealth

Sunday readings in brief 25 C

Amos 8:4-7; Ps 112(113); 1 Tim 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13

God versus wealth

Dear friends, today is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings today invite us to reflect upon how we utilize the wealth of this world. God created every good thing and give it to human beings to draw benefit from it. There is enough for everyone in the world, however, because of greed and selfishness, a few have more than they need to live while many do not have enough to survive.

In the first reading, Prophet Amos rebukes the rich of the day who trampled the poor by hiking the prices of grains and stealing from them by tampering with the scales. This they did in order to make it difficult for the poor to sustain themselves hence taking them as slaves on their farms. Today, we continue to see this phenomenon in our society whereby the rich make sure the systems favor them at the expense of the poor. One observation in many of our cities is that neigbouring every rich suburb, there is a poor settlement where the poor work for the rich life. On the sweat and breath of the poor, the rich ride.

Prophet Amos, speaking for the Lord, tells them that their actions will never be forgotten. One day everyone will be demanded to give an account of his or her actions and be judged accordingly.

St. Paul in the Second Reading is urging us to pray for everyone especially those in authority, so that they may be just. Every society resembles its leaders. God-fearing leaders bring development and equality to society. Bad leaders serve their own interests and the interest of their few friends at the sweat of the many poor. To lead means to be the first in taking responsibility showing others the way. However, the world has made commercialized positions of leadership hence making them lucrative and desirable for all. Today, we have very few instances where leaders are elected upon merit and qualities of service. On many occasions, people by positions by corrupt and brutal means and some even source the help of dark powers by entering into contracts with the devil. Such leaders will always sacrifice their people to sustain themselves in power.

In a very rare scenario, the Gospel passage presents to us a steward who used his astuteness to rescue his situation when he was about to be dismissed from his position. This steward was accused of being wasteful and was demanded to lender accounts before exiting his position. What is being highlighted here is how, at the critical moment, the steward decided to forgo his interests and favour the poor, probably deducting the commission he had hiked for himself to win friendship and leverage.

Jesus urges us to use the wealth of this world wisely so that we may not be locked out of heaven. Wealth is not bad by itself but how we utilize it may lead us to damnation. Many times, we forget our responsibility to God and neighbour because of pursuance of wealth. All that is on the face of the earth belongs to the creator who has led them to us for the span of our lives.

Dear friends, I invite us today to reflect upon how we utilize the material things at our disposal. Do we care for the underprivileged around us or do we buy them and enslave them to become even wealthier?

Have a blessed Sunday

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD (svdkentan.com)

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