Run Time: approximately 10 and a half minutes. Gospel: Mt 13:1-23.
The saints are the ones of whom Jesus said, ‘…blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.’ He’s calling all of us to have this kind of vision, this ability to listen to everything in our life as a sign pointing to God. But the saints are those who do this in a magnificent way.
We tend to think of the life of grace like that at times. To suppose ‘well there are the rules, and if you don’t play by the rules you shouldn’t get the reward.’ In a sense because – I think we look at it as though: “if I obey the law of God, I have surrendered something that probably would have made me happy and I would have enjoyed doing. We have to give up all the fun stuff to be good and be holy. And so those people who didn’t give up the fun stuff and got away with something shouldn’t get the reward. While the rest of us have suffered and shouldn’t the world all know about it.”
But I think spiritually we do better to take it at face value. To take it at it’s plain meaning when Jesus says, ‘the Master commended that dishonest steward.’ To take it at it’s plain meaning that he has traded on what is not his – and see what there is to be learned from this parable. The first thing we see is that the steward recognizes the difficulty of his situation. He doesn’t say, ‘Well I’m fine now … I’ve got a couple of weeks to go before I’ve ended my stewardship. I’ll worry about it then.’ He acts, and he acts directly and promptly. He sees his deed. Not to say, ‘Well, I’ll have to give an account sometime down the road and that’s when I’ll worry about it.’ But to see that he has the opportunity today, to tend to that account down the road. If only we were like that.
A link to the encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, can be found here.
…God looks upon us in our weakness and sees first that original goodness in which He created us. That original dignity and beauty in which He delighted at creation and saw indeed that it was very good. And so the fact of His mercy rests upon this: That He remains our Father. That while we may reject Him, and may choose to live as though we had none – as though there were no Father in Heaven. He remains. And He looks upon each one with the same love. Mind you not a false compassion, or hard heartedness. But I think those are the two extremes to which – into which we can fall. Either saying, “Well you’ve messed up and that’s it. You’ve buttered your bread, now sleep in it.” (We’re great at mixing metaphors in my family). “That’s it, you’ve sinned, you’re out, you’re done!” That is not the view of God the Father. There is no sin into which we can fall, there is no distance that we may wander that God will not call us back and receive us back as His beloved sons and daughters…
Our country is becoming more and more divided as the days go on. Each passing day, something makes that fissure wider between us – between classes, or races, or whatever. But we can really help mend that by doing these things [the spiritual and corporal works of mercy], in the sphere – the small sphere of influence we have with those around us – that’s how we change it.