Who is your Master? by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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25th Sunday Ordinary Time

The story is told that Mark Twain was once asked why he was not in favor of polygamy. His simple response was: “No man can serve two masters.”

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 16, 1-13), Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters—God and money. We have to make a choice to “hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” The bottom line is that we have, and we serve only one Master in this life.

And so, it is that there are people who make the pursuit of money their lifetime achievement and passion. Even in serving God, we need money, but let us be careful because the lure of money is very, very strong, and half-truths and rationalizations can make us go wrong.

Money, per se, is not bad, but our desire for money can make us greedy, selfish and worldly. Worse, when money goes into our pockets, and into our heads, we soon may get contaminated with dishonesty, pride and arrogance. And when money goes into our very hearts, then, money has become our God.

Has money corrupted you? Has your wealth made you think or feel that you are more privileged and more entitled? Has your outlook toward people been blurred by the color of money? Has money made you believe that everything and everyone has a price in this life, and that even God and heaven can somehow be bought? If so, then money has really corrupted you.

Hard work is admirable, but if that means setting aside health, family, people, and even God, then you have made your work and “achievements” your master and god.

I have met a lot of rich and powerful people. Some have edified and inspired me with their humility, generosity and Godliness. Some have disappointed and disgusted me with their arrogance, greed and selfishness. The difference? The former have God, still, as their Master. The latter have, knowingly or unknowingly, made money their master. They have become slaves and prisoners of their wealth and money.

The story is told about a man who was asked by the flight attendant after the meal: “Are you through?” His quick response was “Why? Do you think I’m false?” Did you get it? Well, that’s how money affects us, and confuses us. As it were, the desire for money is never through. And because of money, many people become false and untrue. Furthermore, the pursuit of money can offer a false sense of achievement and a false sense of security. Please remember that our true worthy achievement is love, and our true and worthy security is God.

This week, we had healing Masses in Cordon, Isabela, in Tuguegarao, and in the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat. The simple and sincere faith of people, especially the sick and the needy, is a very touching and humbling experience. God loves the simple, the humble and the sincere. Blessed are they who have not forgotten their dependence on God. May your wealth and money not spoil and corrupt you, and make you forget who you really and truly are.

Think about this: “The mathematics of life is not the multiplication of wealth, but the division of goods, subtraction of pride and greed, and the addition of humility, and service to God and to His people.”

A moment with the Lord

Lord, You are our Lord and Master. We are just your unworthy stewards and servants. Amen.

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