25th Sunday C
Who is your master – God or mammon? Who is the master in charge of your life? Our “master” is whatever governs our thoughts, shapes our ideals, and controls the desires of our heart and the values we choose to live by… in fact, our whole life.
We can be ruled or governed by so many different things – the love of money and possessions, the power of position and prestige, the glamor of wealth and fame, and the driving force of unruly passions, harmful desires, and addictive cravings.
Ultimately the choice of who is our master boils down to two: God or “mammon”. What is mammon? “Mammon” stands for “material wealth or possessions” or whatever tends to “control our appetites and desires.”
There is one master alone who has the power to set us free from slavery to sin, fear, pride, and greed, and a host of other hurtful desires. That master is the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can save us from all that would keep us bound up in fear and anxiety.
Today’s parable challenges us to be smart in the pursuit of the kingdom of God. More often godless people are smart in their pursuit of selfish goals and ambitions. Jesus uses the example of a smart manager in his master’s business to teach us the need to be smart in the Lord’s service. We are challenged to imitate the manager’s shrewdness, not his dishonesty. “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly” (Luke 16:8).
Our task as followers of Christ is to help bring about the kingdom of God starting from our own selves. We have all been given the necessary resources to do this. We have been gifted with the truth of faith, we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts, and we have been given time. Sooner or later we shall all be called upon to render an account of how we have capitalized and managed these resources.
Let me end with a story:
A tourist went to see a monk. For many years the tourist had heard about this monk, had fallen in deep love with his words, his message. Finally he decided to see him. When he entered the monk’s room he was surprised — it was an utterly empty room! The monk was sitting; there was no furniture at all! The tourist could not conceive of a living space without any furniture.
He immediately asked, “Where is your furniture?”
And the monk laughed and said, “And where is yours?”
And the tourist said, “Of course I am a tourist here. I cannot go on carrying my furniture!”
And the monk said, “So am I a tourist. For only just a few days and then I will be gone.”
This worls is just a pilgrimage — of great significance, but not a place to belong to forever, not a place to become part of forever.
You waste your life accumulating wealth, and plan to enjoy your accumulation at a later date. But life passes on. Life has to be enjoyed truly like a tourist. Tourist don’t carry assets with him. He just travels and enjoys with self. The minimum the baggage, the more fun and freedom. Think about it.