In the Gospel today the stage is set for the drama of the Lord’s Passion. The Sanhedrin is convened to figure out what to do about Jesus as his followers increase. The issue: if the crowds become a mob the Romans will come and take away their land and their nation. It’s a perfect storm of religion and politics, and at the center is one who is innocent: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The readings this week speak about how our faith touches crucial aspects of practical life: business affairs, politics, and money. As followers of Jesus Christ we are “in the world, but not of the world” and we have daily opportunities to allow our faith to guide and direct what we say and do.
This Sunday’s scripture readings give us a practical perspective from which to view some “real world” issues that surface in daily life.
1st Reading – God’s rebuke about bad business practices
Psalm – “Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.”
2nd Reading – Pray for our civic leaders
Gospel – A parable about using wealth to secure lasting relationships
And who says the Church shouldn’t talk about Business & Politics?! The prophet Amos offers harsh words about those who cheat to make a profit, and Timothy urges the community to pray for those in authority “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life.”
Far from out of touch, these passages remind us yet again of the timeless quality of Scripture to speak to enduring human concerns. Our communities rely on a strong and supportive leadership that fosters peace and prosperity. Amid political rhetoric we are constantly reminded that we are as strong as we are united, and as weak as we are divided.
Thus the Gospel helps us understand that “God and Mammon” cannot compete with one another; rather, we put the Lord first and see our work and social interactions through the eyes of faith. Money and natural resources are crucial for human life to thrive, and when people are cooperating and stewarding these practical elements under the guidance of a clear moral vision we discover the power that our faith in Jesus Christ brings to all aspects of our lives.