Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time
No one can serve two masters
Points to note
The passage is a shortened version that includes a difficult parable on the crafty servant. Unless you are well prepared for the very difficult questions that will inevitably arise, it is best to avoid the parable and concentrate on the rump reading.
It is sometimes very easy to caricature children as being too much a slave to televisions, Playstations, etc. This is too much of a generalisation and it does no credit to children who have other interests. Therefore, we should be sensitive when exploring the other masters that children may have and we should be prepared to digress into any other areas where children may have obsession. Or we may need to be ready for children without any pre-conceptions whatsoever.
Discuss trust with the children. Does it ever happen that a parent will trust a child with everything right from the very beginning? Usually the parent will start with small things and then lead onto bigger ones. Give them examples like pocket money, or that only older children may ride their bicycles on the road, etc.
The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
All: Glory to you O Lord
(Lk 16: 1-13)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Anyone who can be trusted with unimportant things can be trusted with the important ones; anyone who is dishonest with unimportant things can be trusted with the important ones. If you cannot be trusted with money, who will trust you with true spiritual wealth? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will trust you with what is your own?
“No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave of both God and of money.”
This is the Word of the Lord
What is a master? Someone who can make us do certain things.
Can only persons be masters? Can things also be masters? Explain that sometimes there are things that will make us do work. Alarm clocks tell us to get up, etc.
Some things can be very strong masters. Discuss the television and how some people will watch it without end. Or where they need to rush home to catch a particular programme. Here, the television is making us do things and thus, they are our masters. There are addictive things like gambling and smoking that can become very strong masters.
In this modern age, it is the computer. I am reminded of the girl who sleeps on the floor of her bedroom as the extension cord of her laptop was too short – she wanted to sleep next to her laptop so that she can get Facebook updates immediately!
When things become strong masters, it is often very bad because they will make people ignore others. Do you like talking to someone who won’t take his eyes off the television? Discuss further examples of how things that become very strong masters can be very destructive.
Who is our true master? God. Only he can tell us what to do. Explain that God, as the father in our family, will be upset if we are disobedient and do not do what he asks us to do. God does not like rivals.
Jesus has been talking about how money can become a rival to God. Discuss how money can be destructive. Remember that Jesus never said that money is the root of all evil; it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Of course, we can also say that it is not the Playstation that is the root of all evil but rather the love of the Playstation that is the root of all evil.
Someone once said that there are two types of people in the world: those who are rich and those who want to be rich. The Christian is called to be neither type. It does not mean that the Christian can only be poor people. It merely means that we should be indifferent to wealth. Whether or not we do have a lot of possessions should not make a difference to what we do.