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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 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.”

REFLECTION: “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.”

I remember when I was young, I lost a dime and was very upset. I just didn’t think it was fair that I was now ten cents poorer for no apparent reason. I didn’t have a lot of money nor did I spend a lot, but I thought I would need it for the future and I associated it with my worth. Of course, children have different financial ideas, but the association of self with the world’s value is a very real dilemma for adults.

God has plenty of monetary advice for us, stating over two thousand financial references in the bible as a guide. Some make a lot of sense, such as, “money answers for everything.”( Ecclesiastes 10:19). Some verses give advice, “When you give to him, give freely and not with ill will; for the Lord, your God, will bless you for this in all your works and undertakings”. ( Deuteronomy 15:10). Other quotes give warning to the dangers of loving money. “The covetous man is never satisfied with money, and the lover of wealth reaps no fruit from it; so too this is vanity”. ( Ecclesiastes 5:9)

Jesus knew the hearts of the Pharisees and saw the vanity caused by the wealth they were privileged to manage and the power that came with their leadership of the synagogue. This wealth and power replaced their call of loving God with self-inflating importance. Their attention to money and “what is of human esteem” became more important than worshiping God.

Sometimes we look at our finances and wonder if we are managing all of it in a way pleasing to God. We can examine our material goods and services we routinely use to see if it brings us closer to God. We should also look to see if we have been generous with the gifts God has given us. According to His Word, what is really important, is justifying ourselves to God. In doing so, we will understand how He is the master of our lives.


PAPA Foundation
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