Scripture: Rom16,3-9,16,22-27; Resp. Psalm: Ps145,2-5,10-11; Gosp. Accl.: 2Cor8,9; Gospel: Lk16,9-15
The word today teaches us that material possessions must be used in the right proportions, within the acceptable limits so that they perform the roles they are meant to. They must never be allowed to dominate one's soul. This is what our Lord meant when He admonished that we make friends for ourselves by means of unrighteous mammon.
The word cautions us today that we must never allow ourselves to become instruments in the "hands" of material possessions. He stresses that our fidelity in the use of these little things will go a long way to determine whether greater riches of heaven will be entrusted to us.
He cautions us that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot be devoted to the two of them at the same time. God has the right to our unalloyed devotion and commitment. Material possessions, being the powerful and attractive distractions that they are, have the capacity of competing for space in our hearts and souls. This is why our Lord told us categorically today that we cannot serve both God and mammon.
We are therefore severely warned about the dangers that attachment to money or material possessions pose to our immortal souls. Our attentions are drawn to those whose lives have been ruined and who became servants of satan, the prince of lies and deceit, as a result of their deafness to the teachings of our Lord in today's gospel and who eventually lost their souls.
In the place of possessions, the word in today's first reading proposes to us solidarity in witnessing to the gospel. It proposes communal steadfastness to the ideals that Christ represents among believers. It proposes support and encouragement for one another among believers. It proposes a love and brotherhood that transcends race, culture, language and nation, the type that St. Paul experienced from Prisca and Aquila and the church of God that met in their house.
In place of attachment to material things, the word today teaches us attachment to persons, solidarity with the human race, a love that is without any deception. To concretize our detachment from possessions, the word teaches us to become attached to God and the gospel preached by His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. That should be our vocations and the goals we pursue in life, after all, what really does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his life?
St. Martin of Tours, who memorial we celebrate today, teaches us by his life and example that our Lord's teaching today is practicable in real life. Early in life, Martin realized the need for deep detachment from material goods, left everything to follow Jesus, founded a monastery and devoted his life to prayer, penance, fasting and works of charity. As bishop, he took great care of his flock by assiduously spreading the faith especially in the countryside of his diocese. May he intercede for us so that we could have the same passion for the gospel.
Let us pray: "O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin, both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Happy Weekend.