• 100 Years at Epping
  • 100 Years at Epping
  • 100 Years at Epping
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Friday, 16 September 2022 19:30

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2022

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestThere was this story of an old but sick man who won a huge prize from lotto. The relatives were afraid that if they broke this news, he might have a heart attack and die. The relatives decided to ask their parish priest to break the news, presuming that he would be able to break the news very gently to the old man. So, the priest broke the news to the old man saying very softly that he had won $10 million. The old man after absorbing the news gently said to his parish priest, “Father, I want to give half of my winnings to the Church”. The priest was so surprised about this that he had a heart attack.

This story, which is quite funny, is a reflection of our attitude about money. In the gospel for today we see a steward who is about to be disposed of by his master because of his shady dealings. And yet, he was commended by Jesus not because of how he cheated his clients and got away with it but on how he looked and reflected on his future.

Australian Money (Focus on $1.00 coins)In Palestine during the time of Christ, there were a few people who owned so much land that they would lease their land to tenants then as payment the tenants would do any of three things - either, they pay a percentage to the owner of the land of the produce that they make; a fixed amount of produce (i.e. one hundred measures of olive oil or fifty bushels of wheat); or they could pay by using money. However, because most of the villagers during the time of Christ had no access to money, they would rather do the second option and that is to pay through a fixed amount of produce.

Now, this steward, as an agent of the master, was allowed to make some commission from these transactions. And it wa not unusual that stewards would make huge commissions from debtors. So, this steward must have made a killing from all of his transactions so that even if he gave seemingly generous discounts to all the debtors in order for him to look good, he would still make substantial money out of the transaction. In other words, he would just be cutting his losses in order to look good to his clients in the hope that he would be hired by them in the future as maybe another steward.

Again, Jesus praised this dishonest steward not because of his dishonesty but because of how he reflects on his future and tries to make the most out of his situation so that he can secure a good outlook. Jesus is telling his listeners that if these very worldly people can reflect and look at their future, so should the children of the light.

For us, we must answer two questions. First, are we children of this world or children of the light? Do we value material possessions first and everything else comes a distant second? Or do we value serving people more, especially those who are in need?

We live in a world where we prepare so much about our future. We invest money so that we can have something when we retire. There are so many products where we can invest our money so that we’ll have a bountiful “nest egg” when we need it and there’s nothing wrong about that.

What Jesus Christ is telling us is that we should also look at the future, our eternal future. We should also be investing in our future by being kind, forgiving and generous to others. While we know that our good works alone will not merit us eternal life, our lives, though, must be lives of thanksgiving for the salvation that Jesus has given us.

So, if in this life we are very careful in dealing with wealth that is just temporary, we should also learn how to obtain wealth that would merit us riches that are eternal. Sometimes we can be blinded by what is here on earth but let us never forget that whatever beautiful things we experience here is only a foretaste on what is to come, so let us prepare for that as well.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

We acknowledge their skin-groups, story-lines, traditions, religiosity and living cultures.

We pay respect to their elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all indigenous peoples of New Zealand, Thailand, and Myanmar.

We are committed to building with them, a brighter future together.