25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Call to worship
Today’s scriptures call us to understand that earthly wealth must be shared, that disciples of Jesus are called to compassion and empathy, and to consciously advocate and provide for those in need.
- To the point. The wily servant has concern only for his immediate future and uses underhanded means to assure that his needs are met. In his efforts to protect his future, however, he limits it — he will only be welcomed into the homes of those whose favor he bought dishonestly with his master’s wealth. By serving himself, the wily servant ultimately limits his world of possibilities. By contrast, disciples are to serve in such a way that they open their future to unending possibilities. Faithful disciples first choose not themselves — nor the things of this world, but to serve God and others. This choice leads to an eternal future (“eternal dwellings”).
- Connecting the Gospel (Luke 16:1-13) to the first reading: This reading presents the same scenario about the future as does the gospel. God will hold accountable those who serve themselves for personal gain and will never forget “a thing they have done.”
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: In the everyday humdrum of life, we rarely think about the ultimate future. Life itself pressures us into shortsighted choices for living. Discipleship, on the other hand, calls us to live in such a way that our daily choices form patterns of behavior that move us toward God’s promise of life eternal.
Luke’s focus today is on care of the poor and sharing with the needy. The story of the unjust steward has been debated for centuries. Jesus is not praising the steward’s unjust manipulation of his master’s contracts; he praises the steward’s decisive action in a crisis. Christians don’t seem to “get it” in terms of kingdom behavior — they are less prudent (clever) as children of light than people who aren’t believers. One form of kingdom prudence is using this world’s goods by sharing them with others, especially the poor.
(Luke 16: 1-13)
The children of this world are more prudent in dealing
with their own generation than are the children of the light.
Dear God, give us big hearts.
Make us sly like foxes.
Sharp as two-edged swords.
Shrewd as lawyers.
Whatever it takes!
Let us grow in holy cunning:
stewards to help you bring
every single person
home to your heavenly mansion.
The First Reading
(Amos 8: 4-7)
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!
What would Amos say today?
That our scales are rigged for cheating and
that corporate greed is the norm?
That women in the maquilas in
Salvador are trampled
That Guatemalan coffee growers
can’t feed their own kids?
Please bring us your justice.
Teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The Second Reading
(1 Timothy 2: 1-8)
This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved.
Jesus — Earth’s ransom — have you chosen us
to bring your blessed promise to all the world?
Help us today, yesterday and tomorrow,
to pray everywhere, every minute,
and to love well our each and every neighbor.
Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection