Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 22, 2019

Is your head spinning a bit right now?  Did I hear that right? “And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.”  “Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings?”  OK… If anyone has any idea what Jesus was getting at here, feel free to share this pulpit, because it sounds pretty confusing to me. But then, anytime we listen to the gospel ONLY with our heads, it can be a dangerous and confusing thing. 

Remember a week ago when the gospel was about not being able to follow Jesus unless you hate your mother and father, sister and brother, even your very self?  It is a good reminder that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not primarily for our brains; it’s for our hearts.  It’s not about getting smarter; it’s about being saved.  So if we can get out of our heads and get into our hearts, maybe we can look at this in a different light.

Like the not-so-faithful steward in the gospel parable:  We’ve all felt desperate before, right?  We can relate to that.  Whether it is kids or jobs or family or health or bills.  When our backs are up against the wall and the world is looking pretty dark, we’ll do almost anything to crawl our way out of the hole.  And if we can do that with our personal lives, what Jesus us saying is that we could do it with our spiritual life, too. If we are desperate enough, there is no hole too dark, no path too far off track, no sin so great as to not find a way back to God.

And when it comes to getting what we want, we know how creative we can be!  We’ve learned that since we were kids.  We know what to say and what not to say, how to smooth things over with our bosses and bishops and our wives and our parents.  We know how to get a little pity and forgiveness.  Don’t we?  So, if we can work the system to our advantage in this these earthly matters with such creativity, what Jesus seems to be saying is that we need to use some of that creativity before God, too. 

And we know what it’s like to be lured by money and comforts.  We take calculated risks with our investments, and negotiate the best deal when we buy cars and appliances and our toys.  Maybe what Jesus is saying this:  if we put so much thought and energy in acquiring worldly things that will pass away, maybe we should be thinking about putting some thought and energy into what will last forever. 

The bottom line is this: too often we sit back and wait for God to come to us, to speak to us, to bestow blessings and favors upon us.  And when we feel God isn’t listening or responding the way we want we get all crazy with doubt and anger.  Perhaps behind the rather head-confusing gospel is a simple-heart message that we can figure out.  To use our creativity, our desperation, our perseverance, our drive to seek God, to work on our relationship with Jesus Christ, to listen to the voice of the Spirit.  To gain eternal life.  I don’t know about you, but that makes sense to me.   

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