What do you trust? A question of where to place our faith

Readings for Today

This weekend’s homilies were given at Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Louis, MO, at the 5pm Mass on June 9, 2016, and at the 9 and 11am Masses on June 10, 2016.

In what do you trust? Science? Wealth? Politics? Only yourself? Or is it that you do the will of God and seek primary relationship with Jesus? This weekend’s readings challenge us to seek to do the will of God, to place primary trust in Jesus, and to live as he wishes. It it not to suggest that science is bad, for I want my doctor to know good science.  It is not that wonderful things cannot be done with someone who is generous with their wealth. It is not that people should not work to make political change.  But if we are seeking peace and fulfillment, happiness and salvation, it is first found when we follow Jesus. Only then do we find the peace that surpasses understanding.

Dishonest Wealth: Homily for Saturday, November 11, 2017

It is important to understand some background for today’s gospel, for on the surface it can be confusing.  What exactly does Jesus mean when he suggests friendship with dishonest wealth? I had to go to the footnotes in the New American bible to get some understanding.  It has been clear the Pharisees are no heroes of Jesus.  They know the Law, but they do not follow the Law. Jesus is careful to encourage people to listen to what the Pharisees say.

Jesus is also careful to encourage people to put their trust in God.  They are to follow the Law, both civil and divine, they are not to trust in money, for money alone will not save. And remember the heart is reserved for God alone.

Homily for Saturday, November 8, 2014

Readings for Today

Sometimes there are phrases we hear in the gospel that may cause us to wonder what they mean. Perhaps the phrase we heard today, “dishonest wealth”, is such a phrase. What is it?

Remember that this gospel follows immediately upon hearing about the man who took a dishonest solution and wound up being praised. He demonstrated a type of cleverness that caused him to receive a reward.

Mammon is an interesting word. It is not simply money, although we often interpret that way. In the Semetic sense it could be seen as the treasure upon which people trust. It also came to describe a sense of wealth. Today mammon might suggest a lifestyle, or a way of life.

In sections of the Gospel when we hear about mammon, it is usually seen as a term of greed or wealth. We are told that it is not possible to serve God and mammon. In other words, our life has to be oriented by serving God, and if it is, it is not possible to at the same time have our lives oriented by the wealth and and a certain lifestyle, which takes over our lives.

It becomes more interesting when we consider the descriptor that we should make friends with “dishonest” wealth. I might suggest here that Jesus is trying to convince the disciples that they should use the type of cleverness that the steward used in the gospel we heard yesterday. But it is using this cleverness in a way that bears fruit in the spiritual life. We cannot serve both God and mammon because we cannot make both primary.

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