25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”  The unjust steward might seem like a strange example for Our Lord to hold up; we must keep in mind, however, that Our Lord is not praising injustice by means of this parable: He is teaching us about prudence.  Through this parable, Our Lord wishes to tell us about the manner in which we are to seek the Kingdom of Heaven.  This parable points out to us how diligently worldly-minded people pursue temporal goals.  How hard people labor and fret over treasures that are so transitory.  Christians ought to be just as diligent, yet our goal is different, obviously.

In another Gospel passage, Our Lord tells us to store up for ourselves treasure in Heaven, where moth and rust cannot destroy; where thieves cannot steal.  There isn’t any physical thing in this world that we can take with us when we leave this world.  When we are called forth from this life, we leave behind us all those things that we worked so hard to obtain.  When we appear before God on our judgment day it will not matter how much money we had, or how many possessions.  On that day we will come to realize how little many of the worldly things that currently preoccupy our minds really matter.  When we stand before our Creator and our Just Judge, the only thing that will matter is how much we loved.

We were all created for love.  We are made in God’s image and likeness and God IS love; therefore, we are created in the image and likeness of love.  We were created to love God; we were created for union with God.  We were also created to love others: it was not good for man to be alone.  And yet, because of original sin, because we have a fallen human nature, it is often difficult for us to love as we were commanded to, as we were created to.  Because of sin, we must continually work at love.  Sin makes what should come naturally to us, a challenge.  We were created for union with God, and yet because of our fallen human nature, we can sometimes go for quite a long time without even thinking of Him.  We have to make an effort to call God to mind throughout the day.  We have to consciously make time for prayer.  Again, because of our fallen nature, something that is so essential to living fulfilled lives (spending time with God in prayer) can, at times, seem like a chore.  Yet prayer is the most important thing that we do during the day.  Twenty years from now, the cares and concerns that we have today will not likely seem very important to us anymore.  But the time that we spend in prayer today will bring us closer to God and also will bear fruit in eternal life.  [Fr. Acervo likes to say that] Prayer is to the soul what food is to the body.  Just as we need to eat everyday for the health of our bodies, so too, we need prayer everyday for the good of our soul.

The same problems that we encounter in our relationship with God arise in our relationships with others.  We were created to be in communion with others; yet we have to make an effort to show charity to others; we have to struggle sometimes to be patient with others; at times it is difficult to reach out toward others in charity.  Our fallen human nature is inclined towards selfishness, laxity and pride.  We have to keep our self-love from becoming inordinate, and we have to strive to love others as we love ourselves.

Love is the greatest commandment.  Jesus Christ has told us that the two most important commandments are to love God above all things and to love our neighbor as our self.  If we have truly loved God with all of our hearts, and loved our neighbors as ourselves, we will enter eternal life hearing Our Lord say: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Let us be diligent in storing up treasure for ourselves in Heaven, by putting God first in our hearts and by loving as we are called to, as we were created to.

Lord Jesus Christ, send Your Holy Spirit upon us.  Lord, help us to grow in love.  Help us to love God and love others as you have commanded us.  Help us to work for Your greater glory in all that we do.  Amen.

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