From the Pastor – September 22, 2013

“No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Lk 16:13)

There’s an old expression, “no man on his deathbed ever wished he had spent more time at the office.” It’s a way of reinforcing the advice that Jesus gives us today. The question boils down to this: what is the most important thing in our lives?

Most of us wouldn’t have a hard time saying that two things in our lives are incredibly important: our families and our friends. These are the people that we can count on. And to them we devote a lot of time.
And when it comes to money? Well, that’s one of those necessary evils of life. We need it to survive, but I don’t think any of us would consider it our “god.”

But they key to today’s Gospel is in comparing our attitude toward money to our attitude toward God. Think about how many of us treat our jobs or our businesses. If something is working out as an investment, we hold on to it. If our job is allowing us to survive, then we keep it. But we pay attention to the details of our investments and our jobs for nearly 40 hours a week. And if something is about to go sour? We get out!

On the other hand, do we pay as much attention to our relationship with God? Do we recognize that some of our conduct is causing us to lose grace, and do we change it? Or do we see the stock in our eternal soul reducing in value and ignore it?
When it comes to business, the most successful people keep a constant eye on the bottom line. If something is costing them money, they cut it out. If something is making them money, they double down.

Today, Jesus is telling us to do the same. When we find ourselves in the wage of some sin, we should cut our losses! Sell the stock, and get out of there! When we find ourselves in the midst of some grace (like Mass, Adoration, Confession or good old fashioned Christian charity and almsgiving), we need to double down! Because a serious sin can send us into eternal bankruptcy. And a sound investment promises unlimited returns to our bottom line for all eternity.

In this story, Jesus is essentially telling us to use our heads, to be smart about our salvation. In the final analysis, that’s what matters most!

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty