Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time


Today’s Gospel puts to us a familiar and basic question: Whom do we serve? We have heard all our lives that we “cannot serve both God and mammon.” This is such a  common gospel saying; we are very familiar with it. We interpret the “mammon” as money, wealth, possessions. The basic question nudges us to think of serving “mammon” in another way, in terms of serving self. We are our own greatest wealth, our greatest possession. But even we ourselves can get in the way of Gospel living. The challenge is to pay attention to how we are living and sincerely ask the basic question, Whom do we serve? Our answer might surprise us at times.

The wily steward is clearly self-serving and decisive in doing what he thinks necessary for his own immediate well-being. But by acting in this way, he risks squandering his eternal well-being (“eternal dwellings”). To secure this, he needed to choose to serve God rather than self. Serving self keeps us mired in our immediate concerns, wants, needs. Serving God frees us to be decisive in doing what is necessary to secure the best for both this life and the next. The irony is that had the wily steward chosen to serve God and God alone, he would have, in fact, chosen to serve himself in the best way possible. By serving God and God alone he would have secured the only future worth having—eternal Life. So, the question for us remains, Whom do we serve? It is a critical and ongoing question for us. [Living Liturgy, 2013]

When it comes to paschal mystery living, we often squander opportunities to gain “true wealth.” The thrust of the gospel is that we act prudently in this life in order to “be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Prudence demands that we not squander opportunities to be charitable and just toward others. Prudence demands that we not squander opportunities to die to self. Prudence demands that we not squander opportunities to be trustworthy with the ministry of discipleship which we take on each time we say yes to our baptismal commitment 

Most of us are serious about our paschal mystery living. We honestly try to live good lives. When opportunities present themselves to act in a Christian way, most of us respond appropriately most of the time. This gospel challenges us to take this one step further. Paschal mystery living isn’t simply a matter of surrendering to the self-sacrificing possibilities that come our way simply in the normal course of daily living. With an eye to the future, we must also surrender ourselves to actually searching out opportunities to live the paschal mystery. There is such an urgency about discipleship and proclaiming the Good News of salvation that we cannot be passive in any way. Ultimately, any kind of passivity is self serving. This gospel calls us to be God-serving. Only by serving God do we gain everything for this life, and assure our place in “eternal dwellings.”

 Adapted Renew International PrayerTime Cycle C