25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Amos 8: 4-7 1 Timothy 2: 1-8 Luke 16: 1-13
Theme: Prayer is the key
Our readings present to us a very pertinent issue that needs urgent attention in our society today. This issue has to do with authority: how we use our positions of authority in our homes, in the church, schools, places of work and so on. It is very important to begin this reflection by emphasizing the need to adhere to the injunction and words of encouragement from the second reading from Paul’s first letter to Timothy. Today Paul encourages us all to pray for each other and for our leaders; both civil and religious. This is both our civic and religious responsibilities. Therefore, it is not enough to stand and be judgemental about the actions and decisions of those in positions of authority; we should also learn to pray for them equally so that the grace of God may abound in their lives. This in turn will also bring about good governance and peace in our societies.
Dear friends in Christ, looking at the first reading of today, the prophet Amos reminds us about the need for us to use our places of authority, our positions and our power for the common good. They should not be used oppressively for our selfish gains or for our personal interests. That is why the prophet Amos encourages you and I to make good use of the position of authority that we hold. This calls to mind a situation that I was reflecting on sometimes ago. There was this young girl who was a combination of both brain and beauty, very intelligent young girl. She graduated and came up with a first class. In her parish, she knew two members of a community who were capable helping her secure a job. And as such, having finished her youth service she went one after the other to both of them. But unfortunately none of them was willing to look at her excellence but rather one told her, “I am ready to give you this job if you visit me in my guest house”. This is not a consideration about her qualification but rather about her beauty. The other person told her the same story like the first.
Unfortunately, these two men were like elders in the community, elders in the church, yet they were not willing to offer the job regardless of the certificate the young lady had presented. This is why today it is important that we ask ourselves the positions we occupy; do we use it for the good of everybody or we use it for our selfish interests? Today, this story I have just shared, is a thing that happened within a context of a parish, that is, the church in general? These are people who attend the same church who are supposed to be brothers and sisters yet they use their positions of authority for exploitation. Dear friends, when we are given places of authority it is for us to use them for the better glory of God because the positions we occupy are simply out of mercy and grace of God.
When we also look at the gospel reading of today we see a steward who decides to play pranks on the master just because of his own interests. If we truly want to be true Disciples of Christ we should learn to be shining examples and be lights that expel darkness. But if we end up being people who don’t believe in God, then it will be hard for us to be true Disciples of Christ. Jesus is inviting you and I today to make efforts and embrace this wonderful invitation presented to us today so as to live like true children of God, to live like shining stars, showing examples. It is in this way that we can impact positively in the lives of the people who encounter us and be true ambassadors of Christ wherever we find ourselves. May almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.