Daily Reflection – Nov 5, 2016
Saturday 5 November 2016
First Reading: Philippians 4:10-19
Happy are those who fear the Lord
Psalm 111(112):1-2, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 16:9-15
Today’s Note: Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 God and mammon.”
The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
I have learned the secret of . . . living in abundance and of being in need. (Philippians 4:12)
Money. It’s a topic that can really make us anxious. We want to be detached, but money touches so many parts of our lives and influences us even in subtle ways that being detached is next to impossible. We wonder: “Does God want me to prosper financially? Am I giving enough to the poor? How can I be responsible in providing for my retirement or children? Should I purchase this new gadget?” So many questions! It can be hard to know how to look at our finances.
St. Paul had it right. He said he knew a “secret”—how to be satisfied no matter what his circumstances. The key to that secret was what he loved. It’s like Jesus said: “No servant can serve two masters. . . . You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). That’s why Paul praised the Philippians for their generous donations to the impoverished church in Jerusalem. It showed that they loved Jesus and his people enough to give from the heart.
So how do we adjust our view of money? One practical idea is to evaluate how we are doing with the call to live simply. Here are some possibilities:
• Take a look at your possessions. How many things have not been used in the past year or two? Can you give some of them away to a worthy charity?
• If you’re planning to make a large purchase, like a car, home, or major appliance, consider what you really need. Try not to buy something far beyond your actual needs.
• If you give to charity, could you economize in your budget so that you could give maybe an extra 1 percent this year?
You can make the choice to live just a little bit more simply today than you did yesterday! It doesn’t have to be a dramatic change, like St. Francis giving away all he owned. But as you take each little step to simplify your life, you’ll give God the opportunity to show you he’s trustworthy and will take care of you.
“Jesus, I want to love you first and foremost. Help me not to be mastered by money!”