for Sunday, September 18, 2016
The First Letter to Timothy, from which comes our second reading today, tells us that God wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.
The first reading comes from the Prophet Amos who reminds us that we are not all seeking God. Instead some of us seek only what will profit us and that which harms others even as it bring us goods and power.
So today we are invited once more to choose the path on which we walk. We need not fear nor do we need to choose from fear. Rather we should be choosing from love. God wants us all to be saved and to know the truth. We must believe this. So our choice should be a choice of wisdom. We need to reflect on what we see in our world.
Are those who cheat and those who have harmed others really happy? We need to think about that. Are those who are very wealthy and who do not use their wealth to help others really happy? The prophets of our Jewish ancestors want us to grow in wisdom and to seek the Lord with our whole heart.
Is there truly a life after this one? Is there truly what we Christians call "eternal life," in which we shall live forever, personally, with the Lord? If there is, we have all the reason in the world to try to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the teachings of Scripture. If there is not, then all that matters is to get ahead in this life while we live and to have as much as we can of the pleasures of this life—because there is nothing else. Far too often we Christians say we believe but act as thought we do not believe.
We can reflect on the Gospel from Luke which is given to us today. We are told: 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 both God and mammon.
We don't have to think that this is just about serving the interest of money. No! Rather it is about serving the values of this world which invite us to abandon all belief and accept all secular values and seek pleasure and wealth and power.
We come back to the basic choice: is this life all there is? If so, we may as well accept all of the secular values. If not, then we must begin to walk with Christ, no matter how often we may fail! The following of Christ is not about being perfect in all of our actions! It is about following the Lord in the same way that Peter did, the same way the Good Thief did, the same way so many sinners did!
Let us be wise stewards today and weigh our choices! Let us walk in the way of the Lord.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Amos 8.4-7
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2.1-7++
Gospel: Luke 16.1-13
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: