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Luke 16:9-15

The Word of God

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. 'Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.'
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.

Luke 16:9-15
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus had a deep concern for the poor. The society he lived in was extremely divided. Jesus saw this inequality as something against the message of the Kingdom of God. Wealth is given so we act as stewards, it is not our own. It has been entrusted to us by God to use wisely and to share.
    • What is my relationship with money? How much of my time and energy does it take up? Has it become my master? What do I think Jesus is inviting me to in relation to my possessions? I talk to him honestly about it.
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    • ‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much’. We immediately understand this common sense statement, but often are not willing to give small things their due importance in the formation of our heart. Small acts of selfishness, of little transparency, of not taking our prayer life seriously, do have an impact bigger than we want to admit, as do small acts of love, care and honesty.
    • ‘You cannot serve God and wealth’: crystal clear words, that even nowadays generate ridicule. I pray for our world that is becoming totally obsessed with accumulating ever greater amounts of wealth, totally disregarding the plight of those who are unable or incapable of entering this race.
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    • As I am here, giving time in prayer, my desire to serve God should be an encouragement to me just as it is valued by God. I pray that God may truly be the one I serve throughout this time even as I recognise how my heart is often drawn in other directions.
    • Jesus is concerned with what is in the heart in the present – he is not preoccupied with the past. I ask for the forgiveness I need so that I may embrace the freedom to which Jesus invites me.
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    • This passage is a mixture of very different aspects of life. But behind them all is the emphasis on the quality of life we are living, if we are to make good judgements about the balance that is required between our spiritual growth and the circumstances of our lives. We can easily lose out on the true value of our lives if we get caught up too much in the here and now of everyday life.
    • To reflect on how your life is progressing is a valuable form of prayer especially if it done in the company of Jesus.
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    • The aphorism that holds this collection of sayings together is: "You cannot serve God and wealth". If we try to do so we will be torn apart. We must choose one or the other. Once more we face the question of where our priorities lie. Is service of God the ultimate meaning of our life, its overriding purpose? Indeed, is God himself the supreme love of our life?
    • "Wealth" can be understood literally, but it can also be given a metaphorical meaning. It can stand for anything that distracts us from the service of God; anything that may have become a substitute for God; anything that seduces us like a false and deceitful lover.
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    • Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. Lord, you invite me to aim at zero tolerance in my heart for dishonesty, half-truths and sly self-indulgence. Thérèse of Lisieux based her Little Way on this: Fidelity is the flower of love, to which nothing is little. When I prepare a gift for the one I love, every detail counts, and I do it with joy.
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    • To walk the narrow path of faithfulness and justice is not easy – to be true to oneself and honest with one another is a task we must work at. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters; we cannot sit on the fence. We must come down on the side of righteousness or be bereft of all that is good.
    • You ask us to believe in you Lord, to trust in your goodness and care for each one. Look into our hearts Lord and remove everything that causes us to stumble or fall and as we walk through life help us keep our eyes on you.
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    • Wealth is for sharing, in Jesus’ view. It is to be used to make friends with the poor, to bring in those who are marginalised. If each member of the Sacred Space community reached out today to someone less fortunate than themselves, the world would be a better place tomorrow. I ask Jesus: ‘What ought I do?’
    • Do I put God first? I talk with God about the things that tend to take over my life – work, caring for others, leisure, TV, Internet, socialising, financial worries, and so on. All these things have their right place in my life only when I am first set on pleasing God.
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    • This is a series of words, ‘sound bites' and varied instructions of Jesus. We mull over each of them and see which today might touch us most. The scripture always has something new to say. Rather than read the word of scripture as you might read a newspaper, you might allow the gospel words to read you. They words of Jesus are like the words of a friend or a loved one. They brighten up our day.
    • I might look again at the advertising that is all around. I think of what these messages say to me about the values of the world and consider how my way of living might be a 'billboard' for the message of Jesus.
    • It is easy to be preoccupied by concerns and priorities. I take time now to be in the presence of God who loves me, laying aside other distractions or bringing them before God.