Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
You cannot be the slave both of God and money.
The Word This Week
How easy to take the words of Jesus out of context: Use money to win you friends, is one of those lines that sounds strange to us outside the context of the parable and the teaching in todays Gospel. Even the parable itself can seem a little strange is Jesus really recommending that we act like dishonest stewards? No, of course not! The point that reveals this is hidden half way down: The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind Jesus in a way praises the effort of the dishonest steward, but wishes that it was directed less to worldly things, but to the things of heaven. And this is the message that we are to take: where do we direct our energies to making money, fame, fortune and success, or to finding friends in heaven?
Notes for Readers
Amos was a simple shepherd who became a prophet someone who spoke Gods words and tried to share Gods vision with the people. Today we hear a powerful passage where he denounces the traders and businessmen who put money above people. There is a contemporary message in this passage think about how you would change the examples Amos gives for our own age (though tampering with the scales is something that still goes on!) There has to be a very direct and challenging tone to this reading we would not be being true to Gods word otherwise. When you prepare the reading, try to find a feeling of indignation inside yourself say Its not right, its not fair. Dont accuse your congregation, but let them hear that God is on the side of the poor!
After the introduction (see last week) Paul gets into his advice to the young bishop about how to run the Church. The priority is prayer, and a key distinction is that this is prayers offered for everyone. Paul is emphasising that the Church is not a members-only club, but that everyone should be saved, and that we, therefore, should pray for everyone. Be careful, as usual, with