Nov 6 2020 Reflection
Friday 6 November 2020
First Reading: PHIL 3:17—4:1
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5
Gospel Reading: LK 16:1-8
Today’s Note: Friday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
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 he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’
He 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 the children of light.”
In this way . . . (Philippians 4:1)
When you consult a map or listen to satellite navigation directions in your car, you do so with the assumption that the route indicated is true and correct. In this reading, St. Paul offers the Philippians (and us) directions to keep us on course with the Lord. Like a map, they offer us facts that will keep us from making a wrong turn.
Fact #1: Your citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). You were created to dwell and be happy there with God forever. Through baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have been made a citizen of heaven. Neither this world nor death is the end; neither has the final word. This fact can keep you from detouring into byways of deciding for yourself what is good or turning from God’s ways.
Fact #2: Jesus is coming again (Philippians 3:20). This can be a hard one to focus on and, sometimes, a scary one. So instead of being apprehensive about a cataclysmic final coming, consider this: Jesus comes every day. In your prayer time. In the Eucharist. In unexpected ways that catch you by surprise. As you deepen your relationship with him, you grow confident that his Second Coming is to be welcomed, and this fact becomes an open road uncongested by fears.
Fact #3: Jesus will make your physical body conform with his glorified body(Philippians 3:21). You might now have pain, sickness, or weariness from observing the restrictions of a global epidemic or from some other health challenge. It will not always be so. One day your body will be whole and shining with God’s glory. This fact is a roadway of hope, to keep you from veering off into despair.
These facts, says St. Paul, will keep you on the right path. Remind yourself of them daily. Recall them when you find yourself preoccupied with “earthly things” like finances, possessions, or health. Proclaim them to yourself when heaven seems far away or your needs loom large. In your prayer, thank the Lord and rejoice in these facts, perhaps choosing a different one each day. Remember that Jesus always walks beside you. This is the way to stay on course and stand firm in the Lord.
“Lord, thank you for providing directions to guide me home!”