Bishop Singh remembered
September 19, 2019
September 19, 2019

25th Sunday in OT (C)

Trust in the little things… and the big LUKE 16:1–13

Trust is hard earned, not bought, and broken in seconds. Trust comes when good words produce positive actions, which manifest in meaningful results.
Many of us have had experiences, truly nightmares, of the grandest words of magical promises, with no definitive action, no substantial results. Sometimes we are so enamoured by the illusions, that we are blinded from seeing the small signs, the fleeting moments of deception. Little things add up to big things.
Being responsible, truthful and trustworthy is the only way to live, in the small things which no-one may see, and in the big things which others may not even notice.
If we cannot be responsible, truthful and trustworthy to ourselves, no amount of Oscar-worthy acting will convince others to trust us. We know the saying, “You could fool some people some of the time, but not all the people all the time”. Eventually, the truth will catch up with you.
“If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?”
From childhood, conscientious parents would teach their children good habits of manners, respect, gratitude, honesty, kindness, and try to instil the noble virtues of courage, discipline, loyalty, honour, hospitality, industriousness, perseverance, self-reliance, truth.
Good parenting lays a rock-solid foundation in the Catholic faith and tradition—this is the everlasting wealth passed on to children.
Genuine riches do not lose value based on fluctuating stock markets, are never depleted after expenses, will not depreciate with every passing year, cannot be destroyed by natural disasters, and are impervious to theft from greedy hands. Genuine riches are the good habits and noble virtues in action—present in our thoughts, audible in our words, visible in our actions, and demonstrated by the way we interact with others. The more we spend, the more we gain; it is self-replenishing.
“And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?”
In varying degrees and characteristics, we all have responsibilities, chosen, inherited, thrust upon us, and which inherently accompany adulthood.
With the privilege of freedom, we could accept, shouldering and bearing the cross, or refuse, avoiding and rejecting the cross, stumbling along, unenthusiastic and indifferent.
I refer to our responsibilities as the cross from God, not as burdens to break us, even though circumstances may cause us to feel like dry twigs under a heavy boot. Jesus died on the cross, His cross from His Father, a necessary cross to conquer sin and defeat death for us. Our cross from God, is for good reason, a life-giving reason.
In this life we are custodians, to care and protect. We are stewards, to look after and nurture. The cross we each bear in this life is unique to God’s plan for each of us, and important to carry. For it is by shouldering our cross, we make our path straight. Without the cross, we are plodding along aimlessly, without a destination.
“No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.”
The trappings of this world entice us to be slaves to the wrong masters, the ephemeral and superficial, to individualism and hedonism, craftily designed to lose you in the jetsam and flotsam.
Daily, we should question whether we are becoming slaves to our choices, and whether these choices are moving us away from God. Oftentimes, the disharmony in our life is produced by our choices—the masters to whom we are beholden. These ‘masters’ demand and take, depleting us. God forgives and gives, replenishing us.
God wants our full devotion, not a part-time, only-when-convenient veneration. “For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, Himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed Himself as a ransom for them all.”

The Gospel reflections for September by Janine Aqui, parishioner of St Ann’s RC Church, St Ann’s. She is foremost a proud Catholic, working daily to become the best version of herself.