A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (Lk 16:9-15)
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Good News Reflection: Divided Love!
Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, as I begin this moment of prayer, you know me thoroughly. You know my history, my present and my future. You know what this meditation holds for me and for the souls connected in some way to my life. Lord, you know my heart. Help me also to know it, to know what is good and what is not, to know what is of you and your interests and what is just my own self-love or merely my own interests. All I want is for my heart to be all yours.
Petition:Jesus, make my heart more like yours.
1. More Than One Master!In today’s Gospel, St Luke records for us Christ’s piercing knowledge of man’s heart. He knows the thoughts and intentions of those around him. He states it quitebluntly(thaúng thöøng). No servant can serve two masters. But how many of us, if we look into our hearts, can see that they are divided! Indeed we may be serving two or more masters. What thoughts take hold of our hearts? What intentions and desires get a firm grip on us? What attitudes and moods seize us and take us where we do not want to go? If Christ is not the sole master of our heart, isn’t the first step to identify the other influences within us and then take the proper steps to make Christ our King, our sole master?
2. Devoted or Despising!If Jesus Christ is our master, then let us be devoted to him. It sounds outlandish for us to consider the other option here of despising him. Yet, if we look at our sinfulness, it is just that: despising Christ and his ways. Maybe we are not aware of it at the time, but it is a choice just the same, a choice that sends a message that one master has received our attention while the other is neglected and despised. Contrition is in order. Yes, we can feel sadness at neglecting Christ so often, but let us make this sadness motivate us to be more faithful and devoted followers of Christ our King.
3. Wearing One’s Heart on a Sleeve!With Christ there is no need to hide anything. He knows us through and through. For Christ, it is as if we were wearing our hearts on our sleeves. He knows the intentions, desires, caprices and whims that cruise through our hearts. He knows how long they take hold of us when they shouldn’t and how quickly they are discarded when we should rather foster them. We hide nothing from Christ. Let us always foster in our hearts everything that will please him and reject everything that will lead us to neglect and offend him.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, how many times I have consecrated to you myself, my thoughts, words and actions. Yet are they all yours? Do they ring true to your own heart? Today I choose you once again. I want you to be sole master of my heart and life. I will defend your place in my heart today and reject every interest that in any way would distance you from my heart.
Resolution: I will identify three attitudes, thoughts or intentions that I can remove from my heart because they do not please Christ my sole master.
Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC