Read Phil. 3:17-4:1, Ps. 122:1-5, Luke 16:1-8
“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19)
In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul admonishes us today to follow the example of his life. “Join in imitating me, and mark those who so walk as you have an example in us.” For St. Paul to be bold enough to ask people to imitate him, goes to show that he has nothing to hide; that he was practicing what he preached.
Jesus today gave us the example of a steward who to save his head, called his master’s debtors one after the other to reduce their debt. This is an example that Jesus sets before us, an example of how we should be determined at all costs to do whatever it takes to make heaven.
By reducing their debt profiles, the steward was giving away that which ought to have come to him as commission for the loan. He was going to inconvenience himself and let go of his share because of the greater good of having people welcome him after his removal from office.
Like the steward who had to let go of what would have come to him as profit, Jesus is telling us today to make sacrifices, to let go of the vain things and fleeting pleasures of life for the greater good of making heaven.
Our attachment to wealth and material possession very often acts as an obstacle to the practice of our Christian virtues. Jesus told us that we cannot serve two masters, neither can we serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). As St. Paul mentions in today’s first reading, to love the world is to live as an enemy of the cross of Christ.
St. Paul also mentions another quality of the enemies of the cross of Christ; they glory in their shame. We live in a world that has its values turned upside down. Yesterday, I saw a news article about a bishop who reprimanded a priest for preaching that abortion and homosexuality are sins. It is possible to identify as a Christian and yet live as an enemy of the cross. How? By aligning with the standards of the world.
Do not be afraid to follow the narrow path or be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. As Paul says in the last line of our first reading: “Stand firm in the Lord.”
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help me to imitate good examples and be inspired daily by the Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop. Bible Study: Phil. 3:17-4:1, Ps. 122:1-5, Luke 16:1-8)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu