Sunday, September 18, 2016
My Lord says ... 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 quickly write 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. 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 both God and mammon.”
There are two categories of God’s gifts - wealth and non-material wealth, like skills or talents, abilities, intelligence, beauty, etc. But the big question we need to answer about these gifts is “ HOW ARE WE AS STEWARDS OF THESE GIFTS?” The truth is, in terms of material wealth --no matter how wealthy a person is, when he dies, he can’t bring all his wealth with him. While in terms of non-material wealth, like talents and intelligence -- no person can become great, unless he uses his intelligence and talents for the good of others and not to destroy others. We can show only our sense of appreciation to God if we become good stewards of His gifts.
Keeping ourselves focused to God is also the same as serving His purpose. Doing little acts of kindness each day for the good of others is a simple way of becoming good stewards of His gifts. Keeping ourselves focused on God also means that we do take time each day to pray – to pour out our hearts to God and acknowledge God as the Lord and center of our lives. In these simple, everyday ways we make choices about prudence and decisiveness--mammon or God, our “eternal dwelling.”
In spite of our busyness, belief in God should come with actions that are pleasing to God. I may not be a perfect mother, but my motto I have applied in my life now is that I do one kindness a day to any person. When I was just small and a teenager, I never gotten angry with my siblings. But now, I’m an adult, my patience sometimes gets out of control, especially if the person is lying to me, or cheating on me, or the service promised to me wasn’t delivered to me the right way, or my children disobey and disrespect me. When this happens, I feel guilty about it because I don’t like to get angry myself. It ruins my day and makes me get worried the whole day, even for several days because of the thought that my God will punish me for getting angry at a certain person. I don’t curse other people, but rationalize to the person concerned why they should not do that to me. But I believe that God also gets angry at people for their sinfulness and unfaithfulness. This is not to rationalize my actions, but simply makes me feel that something is really wrong in my behavior and needs to be amended.
At the end of the day, I don’t tell my God what kindness I did in a day because I believe that He knows everything what I have done. Nothing can be hidden from Him, even what are inside our hearts and minds. I don’t ask from Him any reward for doing such kindness because I still believe that doing kindness to any person is a way of offering a sacrifice to the Lord for the forgiveness of my sins, failures, and shortcomings.
" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."
Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a