Wednesday, September 14, 2016


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 riches 

Ø  This prophet lived during 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, Israel. 

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 and also later on with human and divine relationships.  

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 the justice of God but the lack of justice of the people. 

Amos 8:4-7

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,  those persons rest on the Sabbath because they are constraint to do it, but while they apparently do nothing, 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, to our church, to our communities, to our families about the millions of our brothers and sisters who die every day in grat numbers, 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?   
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  

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, it 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 wiser than those who try to live according to the values of the Kingdom.   

*      Jesus continues saying that we use what the unjust riches produce to help others,  and in so doing we will transform them in just riches if we share them  with those less fortunate than us, with our employees ...  

*      Something very interesting is that riches are presented as something we do not own we only are the stewards of it.   

*      And 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 movements. 
v  A prayer for those who govern us  
v  And not only pray for them for their own good  
v  But 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.     

 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.
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo. 

We must be grateful that most people do value family relationships that are permanent and marked by mutual respect.  They appreciate the Church’s efforts to offer guidance and counselling in areas related to growth in love, overcoming conflict and raising children.  Many are touched by the power of grace experienced in sacramental Reconciliation and in the Eucharist, grace that helps them face the challenges of marriage and the family.  In some countries, especially in various parts of Africa, secularism has not weakened certain traditional values, and marriages forge a strong bond between two wider families, with clearly defined structures for dealing with problems and conflicts.  Nowadays we are grateful too for the witness of marriages that have not only proved lasting, but also fruitful and loving.  All these factors can inspire a positive and welcoming pastoral approach capable of helping couples to grow in appreciation of the demands of the Gospel.  Yet we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness.  Many people feel that the Church’s message on marriage and the family does not clearly reflect the preaching and attitudes of Jesus, who set forth a demanding ideal yet never failed to show compassion and closeness to the frailty of individuals like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery.(38)

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