Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s first reading introduces us to the themes of justice and fair play. Examples of injustice are noted in each verse with the last verse ending with undertones of warning: “never will I forget a thing they have done!” The exclamation point, is subtle but powerful. I would not want to be the beneficiary of this promise; the righteous anger almost palpable in the face of the noted corruption.
This first reading captures your attention as it leads into the responsorial psalm that clearly makes known to the reader, God’s intention toward the poor, “Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor”.
Warning and foreboding give way to instruction - lift up the poor.
The concept of poor covers a multitude of groups, since poverty comes in all forms, economic, spiritual, and social, to name a few. So, to lift each other up would in essence be following the Lord’s example, especially those less fortunate.
Luke’s Gospel is replete with wisdom. Squandering. Stewardship. Trustworthiness. One Master. Much to decipher.
Squandering is an unfortunate aspect of youth, or so it was for me. Thank God I learned a better way through the gift of pain. Maybe it’s that way for many. Pain can be a catalyst for growth and change; a motivator for healing and increase.
Stewardship is something I’ve learned to value and respect. My blessings have always been a source of gratitude; simple and commonplace but never taken for granted nor served. Let me name a few: my parents and siblings, my education, my ministries, my home, my friendships, and my health. I could go on but won’t. Some can be built upon and some just require appreciation. Stewardship demands appreciation, attention, focus, and gratitude.
Stewardship and trustworthiness go hand in hand. If one shows good stewardship of the gifts freely given by God then doesn’t that lend itself to trust? Aren’t we saying to God by our actions of good stewardship that we can be trusted with more? And so, blessings beget more blessings. No? It’s just God’s nature to increase us.
Finally, what will determine the outcome? Justice or injustice?
Lifting up or breaking down? Valuing or squandering? Stewardship or wastefulness? Trustworthiness or untrustworthiness? What will determine these outcomes is the positioning of our hearts. Have I attached myself to mammon or have I attached myself to God?
Our destination will always be determined by that answer.
Let us pray for each other that we will always be mindful of who and what we are attached to. For it is that answer which will determine all outcomes.
Peggy Roach, Associate