Saturday, September 21, 2013

No Servant Can Serve Two Masters

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!...The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!  Amos 8:4,7

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.  1 Timothy 2:8

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 both God and mammon.”  Luke 16:11-13

Piety is the honest statement of who we are before God.  Piety reflects in our life a statement of Humility.  God is the source of all the good we do.  We can watch him work in our lives as he uses our weakness to make his strength and presence felt.  The prudent, worldly-wise man of the Gospel story prepares himself for the time when he does not have a job.  If the worldly prepare for retirement so they can enjoy life here on earth, how much more should we prepare ourselves for heaven? Is it going to be said of us that the children of this world were more prudent than the children of light in dealing with their own generation?

We look at how people cheat to make an extra buck.  They work hard at cheating.  Do we have standards of life that allow us to cheat on our responsibilities? Do I set myself up so that I can get away with doing the least needed? Purity of intention requires of me that I look to see by my study and prayer how I can do the best job possible.  The Hidden Life grace means that we work just as hard at the jobs no one sees us doing as we would work with the whole world watching.  We are all showmen about many things in our lives and it takes prayer, fasting and good works to discover the best way to work in the name of the Lord.  Real pleasure in doing what is right is how God is forever calling us to be ourselves in his name.   Our goodness speaks volumes when we do all for the name of the Lord.

Action speaks louder than words.  Living Christ is better than speaking him.  If we are going to talk about Christ, it is better that we talk to Christ first about what we are going to say.  Our world has more than enough hypocrites.  We need to live the advice of St.  Francis to the young member of his community.   “Preach always and occasionally use words.” We preach by the quality of our lives.  We need to pray for each other.  Paul advises us to lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.  It is our love of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for us that challenges us to give of ourselves even as he has given to us.  If we are to be the Disciples of Christ, we need to carry our crosses of life in his name.  Selfishness gives way to selflessness when we do all in the name of Christ.  When we love even as Christ has loved us we are giving our lives for our neighbors.  Offering our lives for the sake of each other is how we love like Christ loved us.

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