25 SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - CYCLE C - 2019
The liturgy of the Church continues to put before our eyes the teachings of Jesus that Luke left for us in his Gospel. Today Jesus teaches us a lesson which may help us in our society: the use of wealth and honesty in fulfilling our labor.
FIRST READING - PROPHET AMOS
Ø This prophet lived in the VIII BC. He was born in the Southern Kingdom, Judah; but the Lord called him to do his ministry as a prophet in the Northern Kingdom.
Ø He has been called the prophet of the justice of God.
Ø Justice as the Scripture understands it, not in the way our modern states understand it. We say that justice is to give to each one what is his or hers. We also say that justice is to abide the law.
Ø But, for the people of the Bible, justice has to do with human relationships among us and with our God.
Ø It has to do with the mercy and the generosity that we discover so abundantly and surprisingly in the relationship of God with us.
Ø The just deeds of God are acts of liberation of his people from slavery.
Ø Jesus has manifested to us in a very clear and surprising way this justice of God, in the fact that the Son of God personally has come to live among us in order to make us just, with the justice of God, liberating us from the greatest of the slaveries: sin.
Ø Thus, we may truly say that the book of Amos is about justice, not about the justice of God but about the lack of justice of the people.
ü Amos describes the lie, the lack of truth in the behavior of those who accumulate riches, to enjoy them without worrying about those less fortunate.
ü He describes persons who "abide" the law, with a fake repose but God sees something else, he sees the lack of truth of his creature, these persons rest because they are constraint to do it, but while they do nothing apparently, they are planning their businesses.
ü They not only plan their business, they also think how they will cheat, take advantage and trick those more vulnerable.
ü The prophet Amos, who defended strongly the rights of all, puts in the mouth of God a sentence, which terrifies us, if we take it seriously, "never will I forget a thing they have done!"
ü It does not frighten us, that God who "forgets and erases" all the sins we have committed, says that he will never forget the injustice that we do to our brothers and sisters?
ü What will he say to our generation, to our society, in which millions of our brothers and sisters die from lack of what is most essential for the human life, while we waste money, and possessions buying worthless things and making devices to kill, or buying expensive food, toys and treats for our pets?
ü Each one of us will give his or her own answer to that question.
ü I think that this is the purpose to choose these readings for the liturgy
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 113
PRAISE THE LORD WHO LIFTS UP THE POOR.
Praise, you servants of the Lord
praise the name of the Lord
blessed be the name of the Lord
both now and forever.
High above all nations is the Lord
above the heavens is his glory
who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
He raises up the lowly from the dust
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes
with the princes of his own people.
v This psalm describes the works of the power of God, who bends towards the needy, the poorest, thus showing his mercy and justice.
GOSPEL Lk 16:1-3
This is a very interesting parable of Jesus.
It describes the situation of an employee, one who works for a salary, a steward to whom the master asks him to give an account of his administration, before he is fired from his job.
The reason to fire him is that he has been dishonest, he has not been faithful to his master, but has used his position for his own benefit, cheating.
Let us look more closely to the situation of that man:
· On one hand, we realize that the behavior of this man is as dishonest as the behavior of those men described in the first reading. His life is a lie. He has the appearance of honesty and fidelity, while the truth is that he is dishonest and a liar.
· On the other hand, we realize also that in some way he is able to be honest sometimes. He says the truth about himself: he cannot work because he has never worked, he is not able to beg, to ask for help, but he finds the way. He will lower the debts of all the debtors of his master. In this way he will continue to be in charge, he will not be subjected to them, because he knows that they are also dishonest, as much as he is. In a word, he is blackmailing them.
Sometimes as I meditate on the situation of injustice in which we live in our societies, it seems to me that it is very similar to what the parable explains to us:
§ Those who "sell" to us, they really "buy" us instead, lowering the prices and giving two for one
§ Then our greed makes us blind and we do not see anymore the injustice around us.
§ Thus, we do not denounce because if we do so, we will be left without the benefits that they offer to us.
Jesus continues saying that the "children of the world", world understood as unjust society, are more prudent than those who try to live according to the values of the Kingdom.
Something very interesting is that riches are presented as something we do not own we only are the stewards of it.
This is the truth, none of us owns the riches, we only administer them. The call here is to administer with the justice of God, which is the same as the truth of God.
Strong message, this one, it knocks at the door of our heart strongly inviting us to live in the truth of God, in his justice which is made of mercy.
SECOND LETTER 1 Tm 2:1-8
v The author of this letter invites us to personal and community prayer
v A prayer with external gestures
v A prayer for those who govern us
v And not only pray for them for their own good
v Also for the good of all, so that we will be able to live in peace.
v The reason for this is the only mediator that we have, Christ Jesus who wants to save us.
v This second reading has something in common with the other two readings: peace and justice. CLARETIAN CORNER
Many other times our Lord has given me the grace to follow him with great detachment from all things and much trust in His Divine Providence. The Lord always does this with a great feeling of gratitude and tells me with great love: “My daughter, if one could be detached from oneself, then he would know what I do for him. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 91
After that time, I recited the rosary not only in church but at home every night, as was the custom of my parents. After I had finished grammar school and had begun to work regularly in the factory, as I mentioned in chapter 5, I recited the three parts daily along with my fellow workers, who kept on working as I led them. We said the first part before eight o'clock breakfast, the second before lunch at noon, and the third before nine in the evening when they went home to dinner. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 46.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiography.
HAMEL, Jean-François. « Digne de confiance » in Prions en Église, 117.
JENSEN, Joseph. Ethical Dimension of the Prophets. Collegeville, Minnesota 2006.
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.