September 18, 2022
Amos 8. 4 – 7; Psalm 113. 1 Timothy 2. 1 – 7. Luke 16:1-13
“The greatest misfortune of this age is that people consider money as the highest good.” This brief
statement of Pope St. John Paul II captures the sad condition of the world. It is money that rules the
world. Needless to say, materialism has gripped the hearts of so many people. Coupled with greed
and selfishness, it is the cause of so much evil and misery in the world.
And the best partner of materialism is secularism. In order to further the agenda of greedy and
selfish people, God must be removed from society. Thus, on the pretext of promoting equality
among people of different beliefs, many countries have legislated to ban religious signs and
symbols in all public places.
To make matters worse, these worldly people are trying to secularize the religious and spiritual
realities. Let me cite some examples. The cross is the symbol of our faith, but it is now used
merely as pendants and adornments of celebrities, often worn in inverted position. And of course,
love has practically lost its true meaning and value.
How many times have we heard about a church where rock concerts were held? How about
Gregorian chant mixed into heavy metal rock music? And worst of all, the sacred Host has been
subjected to profanation and desecration. We know of many instances when the sacred Host is
taken home as souvenir, or as talisman or amulet for fighting cocks, or used in satanic cults. All
these are part of the devil’s plan to secularize the sacred and trivialize the true faith.
The world is making use of the sacred and spiritual realities to further the agenda of the worldly
people and the devil. Are we not going to do something about it? Have we ever thought of giving
them a dose of their own medicine? Is it possible to make use of the worldly for the advantage of
the sacred? We must get back at the enemy. Doing nothing would just confirm what our Lord said:
“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the
children of light” (Luke 16:8).
In the parable of the Gospel this Sunday, the master praised the dishonest manager. This teaching
may sound strange. However, Jesus clarified that the manager was praised not for his dishonesty
but “for acting prudently”. Knowing that his tenure of stewardship is about to end, he was smart
enough to make use of his remaining time in office to gain loyal friends. So, Jesus said, “Make
friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into
eternal dwellings.” The translation from the New Jerusalem Bible is clearer: “Use money, tainted
as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into
eternal dwellings.” That means making use of this world’s goods for eternal salvation and using
temporal things to attain the heavenly rewards. Simply put, it is our way of getting back at the
devil in this ongoing spiritual battle.
The global economic crisis and financial meltdown have sent us a very clear message: economic
giants are vulnerable, big banks and financial institutions can crumble and money can be lost in an
instant. They will surely fail us, for they are never permanent. And when they are lost, they are
totally gone – except those that were spent to serve God by spreading the true faith and by helping
the poor and the needy. In short, money and all material resources will never be lost if they are
invested in the eternal treasuries of heaven.
How about that? This sounds like the best deal of all times: using the temporal in exchange for the
eternal, the worldly things to obtain heavenly rewards. This is just a matter of faithful stewardship.
If we are trustworthy in administering the passing things of this world, God will also entrust us
with the eternal treasures of heaven. The Church is full of saints who showed us that this is
certainly true: St. Joseph of Arimathea, St. Helena, St. Henry II, St. Louis IX, St. Elizabeth of
Hungary, St. Elizabeth of Portugal, St. Hedwig of Poland, St. Ethelbert of Kent and many others.
They were kings, queens, princes, and millionaires who used their worldly wealth and power to
help the poor and bring people to God. As a result, they have gained the eternal riches of heaven.
Money in itself is not the root of evil; rather, it is love of money. When money is considered as
one’s master, that is the cause of so much trouble and misery. But when money is used as one’s
instrument and servant to help the poor and to glorify God, then it becomes a great blessing. Thus,
the Lord warned us: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Let us use money and all
material things as our servant and let us serve and worship God as our Lord.
Saint Paul exhorts us: “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others,
knowing you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord
Christ (Col 3:23-24). God bless