Scripture: 1st Reading:Romans 15:14-21;Resp. Psalm:Psalm 97:1-4; Gosp. Accl.:2Co5:19; Gospel: Lk16,1-8
The life of a preacher and witness of the gospel is beautiful. The work of preaching and witnessing to the gospel of Christ is the most exciting and fascinating of all preoccupations that any human person can engage in. This is because the work is not man's work. The work is the work of God Himself, the impenetrable mystery who we would never have known if He did not reveal Himself.
The preacher is nothing more than a servant of the mysteries hidden in the word of life. The supreme ambition of any preacher should be to preach the gospel. The preoccupation of every preacher and messenger of the gospel must be to break new ground. The authentic preacher should not proselytize and poach the members already won for Christ by another preacher of the word.
St. Paul must have realized that there were so many souls to rescue and save. His entire attention was directed towards these countless souls who had had nobody to preach to them and who were destined to perish if help did not come. For Paul, bringing this help was the sole business of his life. No wonder he saw his life as a race because of the tasks he believed the Master had given him and which he felt obliged to accomplish.
The word today also teaches us that whoever is called to preach Christ by virtue of his baptism or still by virtue of a special call, must realize that it is grace and nothing more to be given this exalted ministry of reconciliation. St. Paul saw his mission as a grace given to him to be a minister to the gentiles "in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."
Every witness must glory in and take pride in nothing but in this service he is called to on behalf of the word. He must take pride only in what Christ achieves through him to win obedience from unbelievers. This must be the over-riding focus of his life, the motivation for his entire existence.
Our Lord in today's gospel taught us that as servants, we would be called to give an account of our stewardship. In today's parable, He taught us to be astute to make adequate provisions for what shall become our lot at the end. The parable of the dishonest servant may sound strange to our modern ears but the point made by our Lord is very clear and incontrovertible: we must be prudent in matters that pertain to heaven and how to get there. We must be wise and clever to use all legitimate means at our disposal to win salvation for ourselves.
St. Leo the Great, whose memorial we celebrate today, was such a prudent and wise steward of the mysteries of the kingdom. He dedicated his entire life to the preaching of the word. He was at the service of His Master till the end of his eventful life, guiding, directing, protecting and shepherding the Church as the supreme, universal pastor of the faithful. He exemplified in his life the teaching in today's reading. He lived for Christ and died for Christ. His homilies, rich and profound in doctrine and fervour that gave courage and strength to the Church in his days, are still very important in the Church today. May he intercede for us.
Let us pray: "O God, who never allow the gates of hell to prevail against your Church, firmly founded on the apostolic rock, grant her, we pray, that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo, she may stand firm in your truth and know the protection of lasting peace." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.