Jesus teaches us the creative and wise search first of the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Undoubtedly, the children of this world look for the power and glory of all the kingdoms of the world very shrewdly and in a creative way. To verify this, one only needs consider Amos’ denunciations.
Oppressors buy the lowly for silver, perhaps blatantly, and the poor for a pair of sandals. But they surely do not lack the creative imagination of deceivers. That is why, to hide their wickedness, they sell wheat, but mixed with the refuse of the wheat, and they use prices, though ridiculous and artificial, and measures and scales, albeit false.
Or it is more helpful perhaps to point to the case of Wells Fargo. To add to its profits, it opened accounts for its customers without their permission.
And what can we say of real estate developers who pay little or no taxes because their creative mind urges them to take advantage of legal loopholes? Admittedly, they are not at the same level as those who get rich by employing cheap labor illegally. Worse still is the scammer who not only cheats workers of their wages but also threatens the undocumented among them with deportation.
There is no lack, of course, of Christians to whom the observation, “The children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light,” does not apply.
These Christians understand that goods are means to something more important, as St. Vincent de Paul says (SV.EN XI:212-213, 223). Hence, they are generous with their possessions. Instead of serving their possessions, they use them so that they may find welcome into the eternal dwellings. For them, possessions are insignificant in comparison to the kingdom that the Father gives them. So, they sell their possessions, then, and give alms. They are trustworthy in very small matters and in great ones.
They recognize besides that to accomplish God’s works, they have to use the means he has revealed through Jesus (SV.EN II:432-433; SV.EN III:192). That is why they do not aspire to magnificent seat of power. They do not cry out, “My room, my books, my Mass!” (SV.EN XI:190). They are poor missionaries who go about doing good and they pray for everybody.
Indeed, there are many disciples who are more interested in extending the kingdom of God than their own possessions (SV.EN III:527). And the questions that one must pose now are: Are we among these people? Am I not like the steward who, noting delay in his master’s return, becomes abusive of his subordinates, eats and drinks, and gets drunk? When the Lord returns, will he find us vigilant, so that he may then have us recline at table and wait on us?
Lord Jesus, let not everything be burdensome to us, nor let us do things by halves (SV.EN III:222).
September 18, 2016
25th Sunday in O. T. (C)
Am 8, 4-7; 1 Tim 2, 1-8; Lk 16, 1-13