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Sunday Soundbite for September 18, 2016

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C

September 18, 2016

 

With the recent popularity of those big jackpot lotteries, we’ve seen some people become rather wealthy overnight. Those of us who’ve never won the lottery often speculate about what we’d do if we won. How would our lives change? Would becoming rich alter our values? Would we act differently if we suddenly had all the money we could want?

Strangely enough, such questions seem to be behind the puzzling story in today’s Gospel, where Jesus appears to praise an unjust steward, who squanders his master’s money, then proceeds with more shady dealings to insure his own security.

Scripture scholars are not exactly sure what this story is meant to show, but one explanation may be that Jesus wanted us to have our priorities straight about the use of wealth. Those who would be disciples may have to use money for the sake of the Kingdom, but they must never be controlled by it. Detachment is the key. The Kingdom must be our priority.

Even if we never win the lottery, most of us are challenged in our use of money. We need it to insure security for ourselves and our families. We need it to further the ministries of our parishes and our Christian efforts at evangelization and education. Nevertheless, our priorities must be clear. The Kingdom calls us to be just stewards, always wary of being distracted by wealth and the need to acquire it.