TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY – ‘MONEY HAS TO SERVE, NOT TO RULE’
Money features strongly among the most prominent of human concerns. Money – its uses and abuses – is the main theme of our readings today. Our first reading from the prophet Amos, underlines the abuses to which greed for money gives rise. Amos sees in the society that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, who mercilessly exploit the poor farmers and labourers. Fearlessly, Amos castigates whose who engage in such practices, ‘who trample on the needy and bring ruin to the poor of the land’. He tells them that God ‘will not forget any of their deeds.
In our gospel reading from Luke, Jesus instructs his disciples to use the dishonest wealth ‘to make friends, so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.’ (Lk 16: 9). At first glance, it is rather puzzling and even disconcerting. The behaviour of the unjust steward is self-serving and reprehensible, and Jesus is not putting him forward as an example to be followed, but rather as a lesson from which we may have something to learn. And the lesson to be learned is that, in our service of God and his reign of love and justice, we must be as decisive as the steward was in the pursuit of his own interests. The evils caused by money are all too evident in our world today, creating a society where the rich grow richer and the poor struggle for survival. In the words of Pope Francis, ‘the worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy that is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal’. Money has to serve, not to rule’. A question to ponder on is;
‘How well am I using the resources the Lord has provided me with for his service and the service of others?’
RESTORATION OF SUNDAY MASS OBLIGATION
In March of 2020, Bishop Paul had dispensed with the obligation to Sunday Mass because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the public pandemic restrictions have been lifted for public gatherings, including public worship, the Bishop has restored the Sunday obligation for Catholics in the Diocese of St. Paul, starting on Sunday, June 5, 2022, the Solemnity of Pentecost.
As has always been the case, anyone with a “serious reason” or a “grave cause” is excused from this obligation. Such reasons include:
– Anyone who is sick, symptomatic or recently exposed to COVID-19
– Anyone with serious health risk factors requiring them to avoid public spaces
– Anyone who cares for sick persons
– Anyone who cannot attend Mass because of frailty or old age.