Sunday, September 22, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, September 22, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Amos 8:4-7
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!” The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!
P S A L M - Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
R: Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and forever. (R) High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is his glory. Who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? (R) He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Timothy 2:1-8
Beloved: First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed preacher and apostle —I am speaking the truth, I am not lying — teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Luke 16:1-13
Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quicklywrite one for fifty.’ Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 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. 11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? 13 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.”



St. Francis, a privileged son of a wealthy merchant, Pietro Bernardone, was a happy-go-lucky young man who, together with his friends, spent boisterous nights of drinking and fun in ancient Assisi. Until, as a knight, he saw the horrors of war. Upon his conversion, he decided to give and throw away to an excited mob of poor people the expensive textiles his father was selling. He left the Bernardone household, recognizing God as his only Father. He and his eventual followers decided to embrace Lady Poverty.

       The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order.” Furthermore, “a system that subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to collective organization of production is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism” (CCC no. 2424).

       You cannot serve both God and mammon. Many relationships have been adversely affected by money. Friends and families have been divided because of worldly cares. Even siblings have come into conflict against each other because of how their parents’ wealth should be divided.

       I once told my parents, “Tatay, Nanay, thank you for teaching us, your children, to love one another and avoid having quarrels. We assure you that we, your children, will never go against one another just because of our parents’ riches and money — because we have nothing to quarrel about.”

       While we can use money to a good end, like serving God, our hearts should never be divided between God and money. The end should always be for the common good, for a better life and a more solid relationship with God. Money is temporary. God is forever. And we’re bound to love and serve only that which will never end. Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do you deal with money and how important is it to you?
Lord, allow me to see You more clearly, follow You more nearly, and love You more dearly. Amen.

St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, pray for us.

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