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Worldly Wealth and True Wealth

First Reading: Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27

Brothers and sisters:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus,
who risked their necks for my life,
to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
greet also the Church at their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus,
who was the firstfruits in Asia for Christ.
Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.
Greet Andronicus and Junia,
my relatives and my fellow prisoners;
they are prominent among the Apostles
and they were in Christ before me.
Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ,
and my beloved Stachys.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ greet you.I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole Church, greets you.
Erastus, the city treasurer,
and our brother Quartus greet you.Now to him who can strengthen you,
according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:2-3,4-5,10-11

R. (1b) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Gospel: Luke 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.”

NAB

nov 7

Like most families of the world, mine is on a budget. In fact, we’ve lived “on a budget” for so long that we don’t even actually know what the budget is anymore, we just know that we should probably never buy anything. Maybe that kind of budget is familiar to you, maybe it’s not, but the truth is that money is not inconsequential to God.

We humans tend to file money management under “nonspiritual matters” and rarely consider it a spiritual discipline or area to submit to the Lordship of Christ. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty convicted here.

The Gospel according to Saint Luke relates to us how very spiritual money management actually is. When Jesus instructs us on “dishonest wealth,” another translation of that is “worldly wealth.”

In other words: cold, hard cash.

He does also talk about true wealth and eternal dwellings, but not at the omission of the subject of real money. In fact, He actually says that the true wealth we are given will be directly in proportion to our management of worldly wealth.

It is certainly the desire of my heart to receive all of the spiritual blessings that Christ prepares for me. But after reading today’s Gospel, I know that I have changes to make before that’s possible.

He is trusting me with the finances needed to raise my children, run my home, tithe, and give generously to those in need. If I don’t actually know exactly how much is coming in and going out of my home, how can I possibly be doing those tasks as well as they deserve to be done? And if my Lord cannot trust me with worldly wealth, how can He trust me with the true wealth that I really desire?  Christ, have mercy and teach me to diligently guard the things that matter to You.

Consider your own money management. Are you treating it as a spiritual task unto the Lord? If not, what changes do you need to make?

photo by Jacqueline Kayleigh

Shannon Evans is a Protestant missionary turned Catholic convert who lived to tell the tale. An adoptive and biological mom of two boys, she enjoys hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. You can find out more about her here.

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