Friday, 8 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all reminded that in our lives in this world, we will always ever be tempted to walk down the path of sin, following the whims of our desires, the desires of our flesh, the desires for money and worldly possessions, all sorts of things that distract us from God and His ways. And unless we persistently and actively seek to restrain ourselves from those temptations and sins.

Today we listened to the words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel passage in which He spoke to His disciples and followers using the parable of the dishonest steward to highlight the importance of dedicating oneself to God and not to other, worldly things. In that parable, we heard of the story of a steward who was dishonest and corrupt in his actions, whose corrupt practices led him to enrich himself off his master’s money.

When he was discovered by his master and was dealt with a notice of dismissal, he panicked and then did whatever he had been used to doing all the while. As we heard how he approached another two servants of his master, we heard how he cunningly manipulated the debts that those two servants had towards his master, a practice that he probably had done all the times while he was still embezzling his master’s money.

The master praised the astuteness of the dishonest servant, but actually if we understood both the intention of the Lord’s use of this particular parable and also the context of the story and the situation, we should see just how sarcastic the master was when he praised that dishonest steward. Essentially he was rebuking the same steward who had been corrupt and showed how that steward was doing whatever he knew how to do, in being dishonest to safeguard himself and his own interests.

Then this leads to what the Lord then continued on, in highlighting how man cannot love two masters at the same time, and how man cannot serve both God and money. He explained saying how if one love one of the masters, then that man will be bound to love the other one less or even despise the other one. Similarly therefore, we cannot claim or endeavour to serve both God and also the ways of this world.

This is a reminder for all of us as Christians that God should be the primary focus of our lives, of our every actions and deeds, of our every effort and considerations. God should be at the very centre of our lives and our existences, and that befits our role and identity as Christians who believe in God and in His salvation and providence. If we do things otherwise, and choose to follow instead the path of worldliness, how can we call ourselves as Christians then?

Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that many of us Christians have not been truly faithful to God as we should have. We have often put God aside in our relentless and continued pursuit of worldly glory and satisfaction, in our desire for money and material goods, for fame and status within the community, for praise and adulation, for pleasures of the mind and the body among many others.

This is where as Christians all of us are called and challenged to be different, and to resist those temptations that had made so many of us to fall into the darkness of sin. It will not be easy for us to resist those many temptations and wickedness, but unless we put conscious effort and do our best to be righteous and good in the presence of God, then it may be difficult for us to embrace our calling fully to live as faithful Christians.

Let us all therefore do our best in our respective lives, for each and every moments, to be followers of Christ by our good examples in life, and by our dedication and commitment to do His will and not just on formality only. Let our faith in God be a great and sincere one, and let us all draw ever closer to Him and to His saving grace. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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