Saturday of the 31st Week of the Year

Luke 16:9-15

Application of the Parable

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Our attitude towards material wealth can influence our regard for true wealth. Let’s take the example of loving. Some people think that they can buy love. Or they fashion money into the image of a surrogate friend or parent. As long as a child, for example, is well provided for materially he/she will feel loved. But as we all know there is more to love than providing material security. Our love, like business, could remain on the level of a trade-off, a barter: the amount of love the other person gives away. Or love can be accumulated for oneself, then it turns into selfishness and greed, an overdose of self-love.

How should we treat material wealth? Jesus says: “make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Part of the Jesus says: “make friends for yourselves fundamental code of friendship is never to abuse a friend. If wealth were a friend, it should not be abused. One demonstration of abusing wealth is the corrupt practice of acquiring it to the detriment of others. In this case, you’re not a friend but a thief. Abusing wealth is also hoarding too much (no matter how legitimate it is) when others don’t even have an iota of what you have (no matter how they work for it). Let us bear in mind once again that what we have is a blessing, but it is given in the spirit of stewardship. We use it not only for ourselves but also for others. wealth Jesus says: “make friends for yourselves and “riches are a blessing only to those who make them a blessing to others.” (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Someone complained about his housemaid who used to play hooky when he was not around. As soon as he goes to his office the maid also goes out visiting fellow housemaids in other houses, leaving his old mother, his bedridden wife, a sick son and a sick daughter. The dishes get unwashed, the dirty clothes dumped into the laundry basins for days, the house unkempt. Worse still, the maid would bring the best portions of the viands to the neighbor who was close to her. She and the neighbor would eat and chat together for hours. She would come home only when it was time to cook for the next meal. Sometimes at night, when everybody is in bed, she would sneak out to the town plaza next block and come home at early dawn. She was practically her own master. All she did regularly was cooking meals and yet she was receiving a pretty high monthly salary.

Verses 10 and 11 talk about honesty and trustworthiness of a person. Gthe characterization of the maid is just a microcosm of a perennial problem in our society. Our country is very rich in natural resources, our ordinary citizens are paying taxes; yet the great majority of our people are poor. our debt to the World Bank has amounted to trillions in the course of the year. how come? Where does our money go? Who benefits from the Kaban ng Bayan? Of the 80 million Filipinos are there none at all who are honest and trustworthy enough to manage the wealth of the nation? (Sr. Maria Cecilia Lamsen, SSpS Bible Diary 2005)

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The end does not justify the means. But Jesus seemed to have allowed the use of illegal means for a noble end. Notice our reading: jesus counsels his disciples to make “dishonest wealth” 9literally, “mammon” of unrighteousness) a friend. Earlier in this chapter, he had commended a corrupt manager (Luke 16:1-9). One might be tempted to read this text as a license to use money, albeit dirty, for a good purpose.

There is a tension in the text and readers are invited to wrestle with it. The issue here is material possessions, a clear theme of this chapter (Luke 16). In fact, Luke talks a lot avbout material possessions both in his gospel and in his second work, the Acts of the Apostles. In this chapter, we see that Jesus is not totally against material possessions. In the Acts of the Apostles, the first Christian community even shared their own personal resources to survive (2:44, 4:32).

This gospel is not about being dishonest for a good purpose; not about the license to use dirty money to help the poor a la Robin Hood. It is about sharing of possessions (in Greek, koinonia). In the first story (Luke 16:1-8), notice that the manager reduced the interests of the debts. Since his master praised him for doing this, we can assume that the said manager used his own expected profit or commission to offset those interests. Making “friends with dishonest wealth” is sharing your wealth. Wealth only enjoyed by the few becomes indeed a “dishonest wealth.” Wealth does not only belong to you, it also belongs to others (Luke 16:12). To serve God and mammon (An Aramaic word for “wealth” or “power”) at the same is not possible because when you say you are serving God, you are sharing out your mammon most especially to the needy. (Fr. Randy Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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If I remember correctly, it was O. Henry who wrote about a story of a very rich young man who fell madly in love with a girl who did not care about his wealth nor his offer of marriage, because of her first love – her career. One day the girl decided to leave for another business venture in another country. Luckily for the young man she agreed to be accompanied in the hour-long trip to the airport. The night before her departure, the young man was so desperate and irritable because he was so sure that given just two hours with the girl, he would be able to convince her to marry him. His billionaire father, upon knowing the frustrating situation, offered his money to help. The son got mad and declared, “The trouble with you, Father, is you think you can buy everything with your money! But this is love. We are talking about love. Your money has nothing to do with this!”

The following day during the trip to the airport, the young man unexpectedly got three hours with the girl, because of a terrible traffic jam along to the road to the airport. True enough, with three hours at his disposal, he succeeded in wooing the girl who accepted his proposal. Unknown to him, his father bribed a number of cargo trucks to create the traffic jam.

Who says that money has nothing to do with love? Jesus in today’s gospel says, “Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth. So that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” This has two meanings, I think. First, taking the context of what precedes this text about the dishonest steward, Jesus exhorts us to be zealous in working for our salvation, just like worldly people who labor for profit. Secondly, our money is not our master. It is our servant and we are only stewards of God’s gift. It is amazing and distressing to know how much people spend for car gadgets, recreation, sports and travels and how little the same people give to charities and to their church. Under the light of eternity the real treasure that will remain in our hands is not what we keep but what we have given away with love. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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When I was in grade school, our religion teacher constantly pound into our young heads the value of honesty. Finding lost money for example does not make the finder the rightful keeper. It should be returned to the owner as soon as possible. If it is impossible to know the owner, the money should be given to the poor.

What does, ‘dishonest wealth,’ have to do with eternal life? Earlier in the text, Jesus exhorts His disciples to follow in the footsteps of the shrewd steward who used money generously to make friends for Himself (Luke 16:1-9). The dishonest steward is commended not for mishandling His master’s wealth but for his shrewdness in averting personal disaster and in securing his future livelihood. The original meaning of shrewdness is ‘foresight.’ A shrewd person grasps a critical situation with resolution, foresight and the determination to avoid serious loss or disaster. Jesus’ concern here is something more critical than financial crisis.  His concern is that we avert spiritual crisis and personal disaster through faith and foresight. If Christians would only spend as much foresight and energy to spiritual matters as much as they do to earthly matters, then they would be truly better off, both in this life and in the age to come.

Jesus concludes His parable with a lesson on what controls or rules our lives. Who is the master in-charge of your life our master is that which governs our thoughts, shapes our ideals, controls the desires of the hearts and the values we choose to live by.  We can be ruled by many different things, e.g. the love of money or possessions, the power of position, the force of unruly passions and addictions (all summed up in the word ‘mammon’). We can also be ruled by higher, more noble, even divine forces (summed up in the word ‘God’). What controls us boils down to two: God and mammon.

Let us freed that we be freed from greed and attachment to material things so as to be generous in using the gifts and resources God has given us for His glory and for the good of our neighbor. (Fr. Cyril Ortega, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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After WW II ended, American newspapers reported that occupation forces in Japan as revealed by Larry Walters had arbitrarily destroyed five atomic cyclotrons, an action tantamount to a “crime against mankind.” After thorough investigation, it was concluded that the cyclotrons had been destroyed by mistake. What is most interesting, however, is the way the errors were handled. General Leslie Groves issued a statement that the War Department had made an error. The press was surprised by such honesty and soon lost interest in the story. Groves believed that “honest errors” openly admitted are sooner forgiven.

Whether the steward was honest or not was not Jesus’ major concern in the parable of the dishonest steward which is the context of the gospel for today. Christian Community Bible comments that Jesus “is not concerned about condemning the improper actions of the steward but rather points out his cleverness in providing for his future; this man was able to discover in time that friends last longer than money….Jesus tells us to use it and to exchange it without hesitation for something much more valuable such as bond of mutual appreciation.” Money or wealth is not the true good, that’s why the term filthy, unjust or dishonest wealth.

The action of the steward taken objectively is driven by self-interest and manipulative at most. But he realized something greater – the need for friends, for a social network which his filthy money was not able to buy. CCB continues: “….it is impossible to accumulate money without failing in trust in the Father and without hurting our neighbour.” Perhaps this greater realization is also an unconscious expression of honesty: the steward was honest in admitting that he was dishonest, so much unlike the Pharisees who isolated themselves in their greed for wealth and power.

Grooves earned respect for the honest mistake. The dishonest steward drew praise from Jesus for his astuteness. (Bro. Hubertus Guru, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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November 5, 2016 Saturday

Japanese people are known for their honesty especially while on work duty. I have experienced this many times working as a missionary here in Japan. One time, I was in a hurry to buy some food and rushed out after paying at the counter. Then, to my surprise, a store keeper ran after me calling my attention. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know what had gone wrong. Did I accidentally get something from the shop without paying? Before he could speak, I tried to ask, in my limited Japanese, what had been the matter. He kindly replied in English, “Sir, you forgot your change.”

Then, he turned over to me a tiny one yen coin with a receipt.

This simple experience reminds me of today’s Gospel passage, “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.” The store keeper gave me the change out of his sense of duty, yet for me, it was a great act of honesty. The value of honesty is part of our being Christians, yet often times we ignore doing small acts of honesty, like returning a borrowed ball pen, reporting lost objects, paying the right price, and others. We still thank God, however, of the many taxi drivers who return lost possessions, street vendors who give the right change, and other simple people who do similar honest acts.

I am always struck by the poster from the group Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals that goes, “Be honest, even if others are not; even if others will not; and even if others cannot.” (Bro. Carl Milos R. Bulilan, SVD Japan Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/990-november-5-2016-saturday

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Daily Reflection
November 3rd, 2007

by John O’Keefe (Theology Department)

Romans 11:1-2a, 11-12, 25-29
Psalm 94:12-13a, 14-15, 17-18
Luke 14:1, 7-11

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Passages like the one presented to us today from Paul’s letter to the Romans are nearly impossible to understand without some knowledge of the historical realities of the first century. Many people have the impression that Paul’s primary theological idea was that grace was more important than works. Thus, according to this view of Paul, the disciple spent his energies sailing around the Mediterranean seeking to deliver people from their guilt and exhorting them to accept that they are graced children of God. But this is not the case, and that is not what Paul was trying to do.

Paul’s great idea—an idea that followed his dramatic conversion—was that the covenant that God had made with Abraham and which had been the exclusive possession of the Jews, was now, after Christ, available to everyone. All non-Jews, the gentiles, were now potential Children of the Promise because of God’s grace in Christ. Membership in the covenant no longer depended on the Law; it could now be accessed through faith in Christ Jesus, without traditional Jewish legal observance.

This was a very big idea, so big that most of Paul’s co-religionist could not go along. Paul was simply asking too much of them. His theology was too radical a departure from the generally accepted principles of Judaism in the first century. Today’s reading from Romans is, in many ways, a record of Paul’s frustration as his tries to offer a theological reason for the rejection of his ideas. God can’t reject the Jews because they have the covenant that has now been offered to everyone. Yet, these very Jews don’t want to share—at least that was Paul’s thinking. God must therefore be using their obstinance as part of his over all plan for the redemption of the world.

Paul “radical” ideas were roundly challenged by the Pharisees, the same group with whom Jesus dines in today’s gospel. The Christian tradition has historically loved holding up the Pharisees as examples of utterly derelict haters of the truth. However, if we are historically honest, they were generally just being loyal to the tradition they loved. For them, someone like Paul seemed to be out of his mind. What he was suggesting was impossible for Judaism to absorb and still remain Jewish. Of course they rejected him. The interesting thing is that Christian religious leaders do this all the time. We make judgments about the theological positions of others and evaluate them based upon how well or how poorly they adhere to the Christian tradition. Ideas that are too “out there” are rejected and resisted, and rightly so.

The problem is, what if one of those ideas turns out to be the will of God for the future, as we hold, in faith, was the case with Paul. How do we know? The Gospel today suggests that we should at least get ourselves out of the way. Power and position is a dangerous thing, and they can blind us to the truth. If we are spending our time worrying about our place at the banquet, we could easily miss the word that God is whispering at the lower end of the table. When I think about this I am sobered by the psalmist’s stern reminder that “were not the LORD my help, my soul would soon dwell in the silent grave” of my own inattention. I am equally grateful that when “my foot is slipping,” God seems to find a way to invite me back.

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by Tamora Whitney (English Department)

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church
Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27
Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11
Luke 16:9-15

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Daily Reflections from a Student’s Point of View

I did some research on this Gospel reading to find out what Jesus was talking about here in terms of the dishonest money. In this practice of usury, the lender is imposing his own interest and his agent is imposing an extra interest. Money lending was a practice which was condemned but still occurred. The servant who is making friends with dishonest money is eliminating his extra interest so the debtor will be his friend. He is making friends using the dishonest money. Then when he needs a favor, he will have some friends to help him.

This is a start. He does a little thing to help someone else – eliminate his commission to someone who is having trouble paying a debt. Then that little thing could grow – when he needs a favor he now has a new friend to help him. And once he’s shown his compassion with a small act, he shows he can be trusted with more. He uses this dishonest money to a good advantage, showing he might be good with something bigger and better. He is showing that he can do something decent even with someone else’s dishonest money. Maybe he can do even better with honest money of his own. It’s a little like giving a kid a goldfish to see how that goes before buying a dog. Or a couple getting a dog and seeing how they handle that responsibility before having kids. Personally, I think a dog would be more responsibility than I want to handle, so that sort of eliminates kids for me! If you are not trustworthy in smaller matters, you shouldn’t be given larger responsibilities.

But we can’t lose sight of the fact that our usury agent in eliminating his commission is not really looking out for his boss’ best interests. And if his boss doesn’t think he’s a real go-getter in terms of money collection his own job might be at risk, which may be why he’s making these deals in the first place – he will need some friends if he gets fired. But now we lead into the next section. You can’t serve two masters. He can serve his own boss and make sure the money is all paid back with all the appropriate interest no matter what. Or he can be a compassionate fellow and do a more morally right thing (which would not involved usury). What does he do? Obey his boss or obey God? If he puts the money above everything else, including God, how can he be trusted in any other contexts? Anything anyone puts ahead of God is sin. If the money or his boss or his job comes before his duty to God and what is right, he’s committing sin. If you serve God, everything else has to be secondary. Something has to come first. That can be God, or that can be money, but something has to give.

The Pharisees loved money so they didn’t like this story, but they have to make the decision like anyone else. What comes first? Lip service doesn’t work since God knows our hearts. We have to make the choice, and live it out in small ways, and then in large ways.

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Basis for Building Trust

 

These nine guidelines provide a basis for building trust in your wife and children:

  1. Be an encourager. If you don’t have something good to say, maybe you don’t have anything to say.
  2. Learn to listen to and understand the feelings behind words.
  3. Demonstrate genuine interest in activities of family members.
  4. Be a trusted friend to your wife and children—those whom you are responsible for a head of the home.
  5. Clearly communicate goals and plans that affect the family members and listen to their suggestions.
  6. When giving direction or correction to your children, make yourself vulnerable to them and share how you overcame the same difficulty.
  7. Be openly affectionate.
  8. Be consistent when you discipline.
  9. Frequently and openly honor your spouse. (Quality Life, quoted in Men’s Life, Spring, 1998)

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NO LIMITS – “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.” – Luke 16:10

Let me ask you something. Do you ever dream of giving away one million pesos?

I do. But I’m still in the process of learning to give away one hundred thousand pesos.

Before that, I learned to give away ten thousand pesos.

And way before that, I had to learn to give away one thousand pesos first.

Have you ever dreamed of being responsible for a hundredmillion-peso-business?

Then learn to be responsible for a hundred-thousand-pesobusiness. But believe me when I tell you that before you even get there, you have to start being responsible for a thousand-pesobusiness first. And then God will allow you to work your way up.

Do you want live a life without limits?

Then learn to get out of your comfort zone, and keep at it. The next thing you know, God is already allowing you to live a life  without limits because He knows that you can handle it. Orange Garcia (orange_garcia@hotmail.com)

Reflection: Success is not built overnight. It’s all about starting slow and finishing strong, and starting small but finishing big.

Lord, give me the wisdom to become and remain a responsible and accountable steward.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-11-07

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CELEBRATE THE OTHER – One cannot miss the affection Paul had for the innumerable others that helped him in his ministry. The First Reading is an honor roll of people Paul felt a debt of gratitude to, people he credited as indispensable in the exercise of his ministry as missionary of Christ. Great as he was, Paul never paid attention to himself. In fact, he would often refer to himself as “the least of the apostles, not deserving to be called an apostle” (1 Corinthians 15:9). As far as Paul was concerned, he was nothing without the others who assisted him.

Search the Scriptures and you will find that God is displeased with arrogance. “I hate pride and arrogance,” we read in Proverbs 8:13. In 1 Samuel 2:3, we are reminded, “Do not let arrogance issue from your mouths.” Proverbs 16:18 says, “As humility goes before honor, pride comes before a fall.”

May I suggest some practical tips to avoid the trap of giving ourselves too much self-importance?

First of all, don’t take your successes seriously. Max Lucado is one of the most successful Christian writers/preachers of our time. I read that he would often bring his money and count them in a cemetery to remind him that he could not take it with him, keeping in mind the words of Scriptures: “People come to the world with nothing, they take with them nothing” (see Ecclesiastes 5:15).

Secondly, take conscious effort to celebrate the significance of others. John Stockton is the NBA all-time leader in assists made and was recently inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. (An assist is a statistic counted when a teammate passes the ball to another in such a way as to make it possible for that teammate to score a goal easily.) We usually notice only the man who scores the goal, but as John Stockton said, “In every goal is a hidden assist.”

To celebrate the significance of others is to realize that in every “goal” we have made in life, there are people who “assisted” us in the background, without whom it would not have been easy or even possible. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Make an inventory of everyone who has given you an “assist” in life and be grateful for them.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of “others.” May I be a helpful “other” to another as well. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-11-07

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November 7, 2015

Saturday of the 31st Week in the Ordinary Time

Rom 16: 3-9, 22-27, Lk 16: 9-15

Money should not be the Goal of Life

What could be the meaning of Jesus’ saying, “You cannot serve both God and money”. Is making money or creating wealth something bad?

Wealth and money can make a person arrogant, insensitive, and proud. The rich man in the Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus was insensitive to a poor man and therefore he was punished by God. When wealth becomes the goal of life a person may use any illegal and immoral means to amass wealth.  People resort to corrupt practices mainly because wealth becomes their goal in life. Two IAS officers in Madhya Pradesh amassed a lot of money through corrupt practices. Now they are languishing in Jail without being able to enjoy the wealth they amassed.

Some people indulge in lavish spending of their wealth while millions of people in the world are hungry, undernourished and homeless. Recently Outlook magazine published an article, “Death takes the Stage”. The article narrates how some Christian families in central Kerala are taking the help of event mangers for organizing funerals of their dear ones. Some families spend even up to Rs. 10 lakhs for a funeral. The items include imported coffins costing 2 lakhs, flowers brought from Bangalore and other decorative items.

The marriages of the rich in India have often become occasions for flaunting wealth. A sweet merchant in Andhra Pradesh made her daughter a golden girl for her marriage by covering her with gold worth four lakh pounds (about rupees four crores). In August 2015 Pankaj Parakh, a politician and the owner of a textile business near Mumbai, treated himself to a shirt made out of solid gold for his 45th birthday. Weighing four kilos and costing £127,000, the shirt was 18-22 carat purity and took a team of 20 people 3,200 hours to create. Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India, has built the costliest house ever built in the world. According to Forbes Magazine its cost is about a billion US dollars. 600 persons are needed for the upkeep of the 27 storey building, Antilia.

Creation of wealth using ethical means and sharing it with the needy is something commendable and noble. The richest man in the world, Bill Gates has set apart 50% of his personal wealth for philanthropy whereas Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, has set apart 90% of his personal wealth for supporting the poor of the world. In our country Azim Premji of Wipro has dedicated 50% of the shares of his company for providing quality education to the underprivileged. The returns from the 50% shares are expected to be more than Rs. 500 crores a year.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in the USA and Azim Premji started business to create wealth and when they had enough wealth they thought of sharing a portion of their wealth with the society, especially the underprivileged sections, as a part of their social responsibility.  But Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil, the founder of Melam Charities became an entrepreneur to generate resources for humanitarian work. He strongly believes that all are doing business with other’s money i.e. public money either from the bank or from shareholders. Hence a business man is the trustee of public money and therefore the society has a right and the business man has an obligation to share his profit with the society. When he started the business, Melam Foods he had decided to contribute progressively up to 90% of the profit for philanthropy. At present he is spending 50% of the profit of his business for medical treatment of needy persons. He has supported more than 1,50,000 persons for medical treatment and he is providing the help through 1050 hospitals in and around Kerala.

The breed of Azim Premji and Dr. Kurian needs to be increased. The various resources, especially wealth and money, God has given us are not meant only for us. When we do not share our resources with the needy and flaunt them we become slaves of money and loose the goal of life. But when we develop the God given resources and share them with the needy we are contributing to the building of the Kingdom of God and simultaneously make our life meaningful and joyful. Fr. Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-11-7

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Friday, November 4, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 16:9-15. KINSA MAN ANG NAGHARI SA ATONG KINABUHI – DIOS O BAHANDI? Ang tawo nga gihari-an sa bahandi magsigi la’g hunahuna kon unsaon pagpadaghan ang iyang kwarta ug kabtangan. Wala siyay panahon sa Ginoo, sa kaugalingon, ug sa isigkatawo. Tungod kay gusto siyang madato, dili niya batasan ang pagtabang sa nanginahanglan. Samtang ang tawo nga giharian sa Dios magsigi’g hunahuna kon unsaon pagpasidungog ang iyang Magbubuhat. Bisan tuod nanginabuhi, aduna siyay igong panahon para sa pag-ampo, pagpahulay ug pagpakighigalaay. Nasayod siya nga ang bahandi lumalabay lamang ug dili angay’ng pakamatyan. Gamiton niya kini sa sa pag-alagad sa Dios, sa isigkaingon, ug sa kaugalingon. Sakto ang gisulti ni Margaret Thatcher, “It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/11/saturday-of-31st-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016       

Reflection for Saturday November 5, Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 16:9-15

Do you allow yourself to be influenced by the love of material things?

Advertisers continuously bombard us with ads that entice us to love material things? So what we do is we buy simply because we allow ourselves to be captured by the very enticing advertising even if there’s actually no need for it.

This is what we must watch out for because if we are not careful there’s that tendency to serve the God of this world which is mammon or money.  Who is behind this advertisers that induces us to mindlessly spend so that we are always busy to earn more money until we eventually shun God in our lives?

The one behind is the Devil it deludes us to believe that mammon or materialism is the be all and end all of life. And if we are not careful we may believe it thus we may favor mammon over God.  But we all know that mammon is an instrument of the devil to take us away from God.

You therefore have to choose God over the God of this world which is materialism. If you choose God you will have a peaceful life. You may not be able to ward off every problems that may come your way. But you will be able to handle it no matter how difficult it may be.

Why? Because you’ve chosen to side with God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/11/reflection-for-saturday-november-5.html

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November 05, 2016

When we feel sick and visit our doctor, the first thing the doctor does is to check our vital signs: temperature, pulse, blood pressure. These will tell him if there is something wrong with us or not.

In the Christian life, one of the key indicators of our spiritual condition before God is our relationship to money: do we use money or do we serve money? This is the question to ask ourselves, as we can judge by combining the teaching contained in today’s two readings.

Paul is a magnificent example of someone who uses money and is not serving it. As he says: “I have learned to manage with what I have. I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both.”

On the other hand, Jesus in today’s gospel tells us that we cannot hold a neutral position towards money: either we serve it as our practical god (a “god” is anything to which we give our hearts) or we only use it and serve the true God. But we have to choose, Jesus tells us: “You cannot give yourself both to God and money.”

Whom do I serve: God or money?

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3695-november-05-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 31st Week of the Year

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