Jesus calls disciples to be truthful in worldly things to prepare to receive heavenly blessings. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Perseverance so he can make many small daily choices to serve Christ and by growing in the Virtue of Generosity so he can conquer the Vice of Greed and be more generous.
31st Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 16:9-15
After presenting to His disciples The Parable of the Dishonest Steward to demonstrate the deplorable lengths that unrighteous men will go to prosper in the world and the terrible consequences of dishonesty, Jesus describes the proper relationship with the wealth of the world that men who aspire to Heaven must have.
Jesus begins by asserting that disciples must, “make friends…by unrighteous mammon (wealth)”, to be received into “eternal habitations” (Heaven). In contrast to the self-serving corruption of dishonestly accumulating money for one’s own care as Jesus describes in the parable of The Dishonest Steward, Jesus directs His disciples to use wealth, to “make friends”, an allusion to giving alms to the poor; the use of worldly wealth to help those in need is the only use of “unrighteous mammon” that would merit consideration for one’s entry into Heaven.
Jesus explains that men must strive to be holy in the details of daily life; faith or dishonesty in small things add up to make men faithful or dishonest in large things. He reveals that men who sin (dishonesty in worldly things) cannot be trusted with the riches of the Kingdom (true riches). Ultimately, men must choose to serve the master of the world (mammon, meaning “trusting in wealth”) or the ultimate Master, God; there is no middle ground, for men are not capable of doing both.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider with care what Jesus reveals about the use of worldly wealth: the perfection of Prudence, Jesus reveals that each man must soberly assess, decide and act if he will choose to serve God or the world; the perfection of Diligence, Jesus demonstrates and exhorts men to be trustworthy, the hard work of repeatedly doing the right thing for God; the perfection of Justice, Jesus confirms that men will be either rewarded or punished based on how well they serve God; Divine Judge, Jesus Harshly Condemns the Pharisees, calling their desires “an abomination” (detestable).
Make many small daily choices to serve Christ
Realize: Jesus reveals a holy life is built on many small choices, each of which is either a deliberate choice to serve God or the world; to grow in holiness, every Catholic man can persevere in resisting the many temptations of the world by making many small choices to faithfully serve God.
Believe: Reflect upon Choice (CCC 546, 1033, 1470, 1696, 1733, 1970, 2562).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me build the Virtue of Perseverance (a part of Fortitude) so I courageously persevere in making many small choices each day to resist the temptation to fall into worldly sin, and instead, to choose to be faithful and serve You.
Conquer greed by being generous
Realize: While millions experience the reality of the true material poverty of being homeless and not having enough to eat, many men are richly blessed with all kinds of material wealth but are not satisfied, seeking more money and more possessions; the Vice of Greed is the urgent and consuming desire to be rich and constantly seek to purchase new things, and it is one of The 7 Deadly Sins for it kills love in the soul and leads to eternal death.
Believe: Reflect upon the Deadly Sin of Greed in the Desire for Mammon (CCC 2113, 2424, 2445, 2547).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Generosity (a part of Justice) so I reject the greed of excessive desire for money and material things, I prudently use the wealth You have given me to care for my family, be generous to the poor, and support Your Holy Catholic Church.