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.
St Paul‘s letter to the Romans mentions all the men and women to be greeted and be kissed reminds me of the life in the parish. In the parish, wherever one is assigned, there are lay people who are so dedicated and would do anything they can to help the parish and of course the priest. They are men and women, young and old, rich or poor, learned or not. They are in different ministries and apostolates. The parish is able to carry out its programs through them. In their own ways they make the Church present in the locality. Since the start of the Church, God has provided the Church with pastors and the Pastors were provided with collaborators. Together, they form the parish. God‘s presence and action are made visible. They form the Church, the “People of God.“
The gospel reminds me of a gumamela I planted at the inner garden of the pastoral center. It bore a beautiful yellow flower. It attracted everyone. One time I found the plant seemingly dying because those going to the center got cuttings mercilessly for their home garden. I then decided to hang a note on it : “An paghabon dawa sadit, kasalan (Bicol). On the other side; “stealing no matter how small, is a sin.“ It solved the problem. “whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones.“