Gospel: Lk 16:9-15
And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes.
Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own?
No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.
When we feel sick and visit our doctor, the first thing the doctor does is to check our vital signs: temperature, pulse, blood pressure. These will tell him if there is something wrong with us or not.
In the Christian life, one of the key indicators of our spiritual condition before God is our relationship to money: do we use money or do we serve money? This is the question to ask ourselves, as we can judge by combining the teaching contained in today’s two readings.
Paul is a magnificent example of someone who uses money and is not serving it. As he says: “I have learned to manage with what I have. I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both.”
On the other hand, Jesus in today’s gospel tells us that we cannot hold a neutral position towards money: either we serve it as our practical god (a “god” is anything to which we give our hearts) or we only use it and serve the true God. But we have to choose, Jesus tells us: “You cannot give yourself both to God and money.”
Whom do I serve: God or money?