Full Time Servants of the Lord, 31st Saturday (I), November 7, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Saturday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Votive Mass of Our Lady, Pillar of Faith
November 7, 2015
Rom 16:3-9.16.22-27, Ps 145, Lk 16:9-15

 

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily:

  • Continuing upon what the told us yesterday, Jesus wants us to be children of the light just as savvy about what really matters as children of this age are in what doesn’t matter, and today he seeks to show us how.
  • First we need to grasp what is “dishonest wealth.” It doesn’t mean that it’s ill-obtained; it means that it’s not true wealth. The currencies of this world are just fancier monopoly money in a much longer and important game. Possessions, gold and silver are all ultimately going to be just as valuable to sand, or rocks or charcoal. The only wealth that matters in the final analysis is what rust can’t corrode, thieves can’t steal, and the IRS can’t tax, what Jesus elsewhere indicates as becoming rich in God. But the way we handle the transient goods of this world is an indication of the way we can be trusted with the far more important treasures of the faith; just like people of the world invest earthly sums to make them grow, so we’re called to do so with the talents of faith.
  • The second thing Jesus teaches is that the we have to determine quite clearly where we’re going to place our value: in the things of this world or the things that will last. Jesus indicates that we cannot serve both God and mammon because we can only have one master. In the ancient world this was clear: when a slave had to obey two people — two sons, for example, of the same deceased master — he would be drawn and quartered because he couldn’t serve them both totally because they would often be in conflict. Today, in an age of freedom and multiple jobs, we can have multiple “bosses” and often the jobs will not conflict. But it’s not that way in the spiritual life. We have to choose. We’re either going to be a full-time servant of the Master, translating everything for his kingdom, or we’re going to be a full-time servant of mammon.
  • St. Paul, SS. Prisca and Aquila and so many of those St. Paul names at they end of the letter to the Romans were full-time servants of God characterized by an “obedience of faith” that they tried to share with others as the source of real freedom. Our Lady, whom we celebrate today under the title of Pillar of Faith, was likewise someone who served God with all her mind, heart, soul and strength and whose life was defined by her fiat, freely assenting to allowing the Lord’s will to be done in her. They’re all interceding for us that we may likewise loving obey God ever strengthened in faith so that we may, like them, be his good, faithful, prudent and full-time servants, handling the transient wealth in this world in such a way that we may be entrusted ever more with the riches of the kingdom and come with them to live eternally today’s responsorial psalm, blessing the Lord and praising his name forever and ever.

 

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 ROM 16:3-9, 16, 22-27

Brothers and sisters:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus,
who risked their necks for my life,
to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
greet also the Church at their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus,
who was the firstfruits in Asia for Christ.
Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
Greet Andronicus and Junia,
my relatives and my fellow prisoners;
they are prominent among the Apostles
and they were in Christ before me.
Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ,
and my beloved Stachys.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ greet you.I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole Church, greets you.
Erastus, the city treasurer,
and our brother Quartus greet you.Now to him who can strengthen you,
according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11

R. (1b) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Alleluia 2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
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 God and mammon.”The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

 

Priscilla_Aquila