Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We always say it’s good to be honest.  And so, I have to be honest with you, for half of this Sunday’s Gospel, I’m not sure what Jesus is teaching.  When Jesus says “And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light,” I am left more than a little confused.  So if you have any insights, please let me know when you see me.  That being admitted to, the second half of the Gospel may be helpful for us.

When I was in Jamaica, the parish was in a very violent area, with regular gun battles between different gangs or between gangs and the military.  Several times we had to run through gun fire.  Upon my return to Canada, I thought the Jesuits would welcome me back as something like a hero for having been involved in dangerous work.  Men begin men, however, no one asked me about it.  I still get a good laugh over this.  I made the mistake of equating Christian action and service with the doing of big, dramatic things. 

In the Gospel Jesus says, “whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.” We can sometimes think that Christian action necessarily implies that we do these great things and because most of us live relatively “ordinary” lives, we can suspect that the living of our faith is not necessarily pleasing to God.  Our Tradition says something different.  We have the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who speaks of her “little way.”  Blessed Theresa of Calcutta talks of doing “something beautiful for God.”  It isn’t about how dramatic something may be, rather it is about how we seek to be faithful and seek to love in all that we do. 

In our daily life we may not encounter those opportunities to something big or heroic, but we always have innumerable opportunities to love.  For example do we speak with people with gentleness?  Do we make eye contact and perhaps stop and speak with a beggar on the street?  Do we defend a person who may be the target of the ‘group’s’ disdain?  Do we give a positive interpretation to a person’s words and actions?  All of us could add our own situations.  If we say that we are a community of love, then it means that we seek to love.  Echoing St. Thérèse we seek to be faithful to who we are in the little things that occupy our day.  In a way, we can say that what’s most important is not what a Christian does, but why he or she does it.  Our motivation is not to be heroic, not to be impressive, it is only to love.  And by loving, by being who we truly are, we indeed something beautiful for God.

God Bless & Take Care,

Fr. John

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