Friday, 5 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called and reminded to be prudent in how each and every one of us live our lives so that we do not end up falling into the temptations of pride and sin. We are called to remember that we live in this world to serve the Lord and not to serve our own selfish desires and greed, not for our own gain and benefits, but rather for the greater glory of God.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Rome, we heard of the Apostle speaking to them regarding the matter of serving God and all that he had done to glorify the Lord and to proclaim His truth among the nations. In that occasion, St. Paul told all of the people that everything that he had done, all the great deeds and hard works he had made and contributed, were all done for the greater glory of God, and when he boasted, he boasted not about himself or his own personal achievements. Rather, everything were done for the greater glory of God.

That was how St. Paul dedicated himself, his life and his efforts to serve the people of God, to bring more and more to follow the Lord and to know His truth, by going from place to place and reminding the people of the Lord’s truth and salvation. He always strived to seek the salvation of many, both Jews and Gentiles alike, reaching out to them and speaking courageously despite the challenges and trials that he had to go through, the opposition and persecution that he had to endure in the process, all those things he did not do for himself, but for God’s glory.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples using the parable of the dishonest steward, which may sound rather strange to us if we do not understand the context of what we have been hearing, and what actually the Lord intended to tell the people and His disciples using that parable. In that parable, we heard the Lord relating the story of a dishonest steward who was about to be dismissed from service because of his alleged mismanagement of his master’s property.

That dishonest steward is a representation of those who have been wicked and unfaithful, a rebuke and criticism which the Lord actually made against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in an indirect manner, because they had acted in the same way as that dishonest steward. How is that so? That is because the dishonest steward who had been dishonest in his dealings and in his mismanagement, chose to commit even more vices and selfish deeds to preserve himself. In doing what he had done, he in fact had proven that what was alleged about him regarding his mismanagement was likely to be true.

The dishonest steward acted in order to enrich and take care of himself, and to advance his own desires and cause, and as he was about to be dismissed, he also thought about himself first and thinking how he could secure for himself a good life even after he was dismissed. That is exactly what happened when we allow ourselves to be misguided and led by our desires, our ego and our greed. All those things lead us down the slippery path of disobedience and sin, and just as the dishonest steward, we may end up doing more and more dishonest, unjust and evil actions to satisfy ourselves and our desires.

As Christians, all of us are reminded to distance ourselves from this attitude and way of life. Worldly things and matters like money and possessions by themselves are not inherently evil, but it is our desire and attachment to them which led us to disobey the Lord and to fall into the path of evil. As such, like St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle and as we have heard regarding his actions and works, first and foremost we have to seek the glory of God and focus ourselves on Him rather than to focus our attention on ourselves. We must strive not to indulge our ego and desires.

Let us all help one another in this, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we will not end up falling into the temptations and the allures of the evil one, in all of his many efforts to lead us to our downfall. Let us all help one another in focusing our attention and effort on the Lord. May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our journey of faith, that we may remain faithful through life, now and always. Amen.

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