Study: Do I use my resources justly and prudently? Am I a good steward of what I have received?
Pray: Ask the Lord for guidance to use the things of this world wisely.
Serve: Is someone in need that you can help right now? Is there a way you can make a difference in the life of another today?
The readings this week all have some bearing on the relationship between the Church and society. This includes elements of social justice, politics, and wealth. Here is a quick overview:
First – condemns those who cheat the poor
Psalm – God cares for the poor and lowly
Second – pray for civic leaders
Gospel – the unjust steward; the use of wealth
In the first reading the prophet Amos preaches against those who would take advantage of the poor. Buying and selling are their concerns, even if it causes pain and suffering. Amos reminds the people that God will judge!
The psalm shows both the glory of the Lord and his care for the poor. God knows the needs of the oppressed, and the Lord will raise them up on the day of vindication.
The second reading exhorts the people to pray for all leaders, regardless of their beliefs. Christians are commanded to pray for the good of the world, that peace and tranquility may exist here on earth. We also pray that the world will come to know the Lord (and that begins with our hearts!).
Finally, in the Gospel we have two elements. First we hear about an unjust steward, who has cheated and betrayed his master. When told he will be dismissed, he takes matters into his own hands in order to insure that other people will welcome him.
Second, there follows a string of sayings on the right use of wealth. These sayings point out that faith, integrity, and common sense will quickly be apparent, especially for those who practice good stewardship in their lives.
The fact is, we cannot cut ourselves off from the world; indeed, we profess that much of life is filled with blessings and gifts that are precious, holy, and wonderful. HOW WE USE THIS WORLD is the challenge!
We are commanded to protect the poor and vulnerable. We are called to pray for our leaders and work for a world of justice and peace. We are challenged to be good stewards of all that we receive, mindful that the Lord gave it to us, and one day the Lord will take it back.